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