Lavonia Fortner helps her father-in-law, John E. Fortner, search for memorabilia his wife collected, in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. His wife died in 2010 but his home was destroyed by the storm. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

President Trump To Visit Storm-Hit Florida, Georgia

October 14, 2018 - 12:01 pm
Categories: 

MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on communities struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael (all times local):

1 p.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump plans to visit Florida and Georgia on Monday to survey damage caused by Hurricane Michael.

Trump will be accompanied by first lady Melania Trump. The White House isn't identifying areas the president will visit.

Michael barreled into the Florida Panhandle last week as a Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds that practically flattened the town of Mexico Beach. The storm then raced through Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia, killing at least 17 people so far.

At a campaign rally Saturday in Kentucky, Trump praised individuals involved in the massive recovery effort and pledged that "we will not rest until the job is done."

Trump toured parts of the Carolinas last month after Hurricane Florence.

___

10:40 a.m.

Florida officials have evacuated almost 3,000 inmates after two prisons were damaged during Hurricane Michael.

The Department of Corrections said Saturday that the inmates were evacuated from the Gulf Correctional Institution and Annex and a portion of Calhoun Correctional Institution.

The facilities sustained significant roof damage, as well as damage to infrastructure critical for security.

Three prisons - the Gulf institution and annex, the Gulf Forestry Camp, and Panama City Work Release Center are closed until further damage assessments are made.

No inmates or staff members were injured. The agency says inmate locations will be updated on its website within 24 hours.

___

Search and rescue personnel are continuing to comb through the ruins of a small Florida Panhandle community destroyed by Hurricane Michael, which has left hundreds thousands without power and without easy access to supplies.

So far, one body has been found in Mexico Beach, but authorities say there is little doubt the death toll will rise. The tally of lives lost across the South stood at 15.

Crews with dogs went door-to-door Saturday in Mexico Beach, pushing aside debris to get inside badly damaged structures in a second wave of searches following what they described as an initial, "hasty" search of the area.

Authorities have set up distribution centers to dole out food and water to victims. They've also set up a triage tent to treat residents stepping on nails and cutting themselves on debris.