Residents line up for food from the Red Cross outside a damaged motel, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, in Panama City, Fla., where many residents continue to live in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Some residents rode out the storm and have no place to go even though many of the rooms at the motel are uninhabitable. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Scope of Michael's fury becomes clearer in Florida Panhandle

October 16, 2018 - 11:11 pm

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — The scope of the Hurricane Michael's fury has become clearer after nearly a week of missing-persons reports and desperate searches of the Florida Panhandle neighborhoods devastated by the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in nearly 50 years.

Florida officials say the storm is responsible for at least 16 deaths in the state. That count was twice the number previously tallied by The Associated Press.

The AP's tally also includes 10 deaths in Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina.

Emergency management officials say 137,000 Florida customers remain without power in an 11-county region that stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Georgia border.

But a glimmer of hope has emerged now that cellphone service has started to return to the stricken zone.

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