Nearly a week after Hurricane Michael left parts of the Florida Panhandle in ruins, emergency officials rushed to deliver aid, coordinate resources and clear debris as the search continued for survivors.
At least 46 people are still missing in the town of Mexico Beach, according to ABC News. Mexico Beach is near where Michael roared onshore with 155-mph winds. One fatality was reported in the town, but 18 deaths have been reported overall in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia, as a result of the storm.
Utility companies worked tirelessly through the weekend to help restore power. More than 160,000 customers remained without power in Florida as of Monday morning, according to the Florida Department of Emergency Management.
Residents of Panama City Beach were told to continue to conserve water as power and water has still not been restored to all of the beach.
President Trump is scheduled to visit the battered region on Monday. The president issued a Major Disaster Declaration for the state on Thursday.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott surveyed damage in Panama City and Mexico Beach on Sunday along with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Brock Long.
The governor pledged that the state will use every resource it can to help those impacted from Michael.
In four days, I have met with countless families & communities that have been impacted by this storm. I have seen the devastation that Michael has brought to so many. We will not stop until our state has fully recovered.
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) October 15, 2018
CNN reported that hundreds of calls were coming in from around the country as people looked to get word on relatives who they haven't been able to reach following the storm.
With cellular service down or limited in the hardest-hit areas, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile have deployed mobile cellular towers to provide service.
"After a catastrophic storm like Hurricane Michael, one of the most important things we can do is make sure families can connect with loved ones, find information on critical services and maintain open lines of communication with emergency response officials," Scott said. "At my direction, the Florida Highway Patrol has been working hand-in-hand with cellular service provider crews to get them access to service stations where repairs need to be made."
More than 600 Florida Highway Patrol members have been deployed to the Panhandle.
FEMA said disaster survivor assistance teams were sent to the hardest-hit areas, meeting with residents to help them understand how they could register for federal assistance.
The Gulf County Sheriff's Office said the St. Joe Natural Gas Company has shut down its entire natural gas system to provide a safe environment for first responders.
Public health officials urged residents to do their part and help prevent mosquito breeding and mosquito-borne illness, which has become a problem in waterlogged areas of the Carolinas that were struck by Hurricane Florence.
Lots of coordination and planning go into this team effort of #HurricaneMichael power restoration. Here’s a view at one of our staging sites as crews load up trucks with supplies to get the lights on💡 #PowerOfTeamwork#RestoringHopepic.twitter.com/Tj26EY0S10
— Gulf Power (@GulfPower) October 15, 2018