The Latest: Utilities slowly come back in storm-hit Florida

The Latest: Utilities slowly come back in storm-hit Florida
Members of a South Florida urban search and rescue team try to gain entry to a home while looking for survivors of hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla., Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

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

11 a.m.

Power and cellphone service are starting to be restored in parts of Florida’s storm-battered Panhandle.

State emergency management officials reported Saturday that nearly 264,000 customers remain without electricity in the state.

They also said that 80 percent of cellphone service has been restored throughout the region hit by Hurricane Michael. But the numbers remain high in the hardest-hit areas.

Bay County, which is where Panama City is located, only has 30 percent cellphone coverage. Nearly 100,000 customers in that coastal county also remain without power. Smaller coastal counties south of Panama City and rural north Florida counties also remain in the dark.

Lights have been coming back on in Tallahassee. More than 100,000 city utility customers lost power right after the storm, but as of Saturday there were about 40,000 who remained without electricity.

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9 a.m.

The White House has issued an emergency declaration for the state of Alabama in the wake of Hurricane Michael.

President Donald Trump on Friday declared that an emergency exists in Alabama and ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from the hurricane starting Oct. 10 and continuing.

Under the declaration, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding in Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties.

Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent funding in Baldwin, Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Escambia, Mobile, Montgomery, Pike, and Russell counties and the Poarch Creek Band of Indians.

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For the latest on Hurricane Michael, visit https://www.apnews.com/tag/Hurricanes