We hope you'll consider joining us for our next WQA Essentials webinar, this one on the very timely issue of Emergency Preparedness.
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Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, toured the hard-hit areas of Mexico Beach, Panama City, Blountstown, and Bristol on the Panhandle Sunday.
Rescue crews with search dogs continued to comb through the wreckage on Sunday, hoping to find survivors. Hundreds of people have been reported missing and at least 46 remained unaccounted for in hard-hit Mexico Beach, where the hurricane made landfall.
You can read more updates here.
The death toll from Hurricane Michael has jumped to at least 11, and FEMA Administrator Brock Long said he expects that number to continue to rise. As of Friday morning, more than 1.4 million utility customers from Florida to Virginia were without power.
"We're still in life-safety mode," Long told CBS News. "We're not even close to having discussions on rebuilding yet."
Read more updates throughout the day here.
LAKE CITY, Fla. — Hurricane Michael leaves behind a treacherous, dangerous landscape that will likely pose risks to human health for weeks to come, experts say.
While the storm’s winds and rain have passed, flooding remains widespread across the Florida Panhandle, along with thousands of downed trees, severed power and gas lines, and road-blocking debris. And those are just the visible dangers: The water itself can carry bacteria and viruses that pose a major health hazard.
Read more here. Also, check out WQA flood resources.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Gerald Herbert, Associated Press)
FROM CNN: 6 things to know about Hurricane Michael, the most powerful storm in the Panhandle's recorded history
Hurricane Michael is already a historic storm for its sheer power. But how powerful? Here are a few key stats to put this storm in perspective.
Hurricane Michael, a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm, is nearing landfall along the Florida Panhandle with 145 mph winds.
A Category 4 or 5 storm has never hit the Panhandle in recorded history.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday called Michael the worst storm in that coastal area in 100 years.
"This is a fast storm, but it is going to be like a buzz saw," warned ABC News chief meteorologist Ginger Zee.
Read more here.
Floodwaters from Hurricane Florence stirred up pollution and debris, which then was fed into the swollen rivers of North Carolina. Satellite images from space showed various amounts of contaminants flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.
Read the full story here.
Damage estimates from Hurricane Florence could hit $50 Billion, according to news reports, making it one of the top ten most costly hurricanes in the nation's history.
A USA Today report puts the death toll at 43, and thousands of residents affected by the storm remain out of their homes under evacuation orders. Read more...
Meanwhile, drinking water concerns are still very real. This report says environmentalists and health officials are concerned about pink shaded ponds on hog farms that have overflowed into surrounding flood waters.
As always, WQA recommends residents affected by severe flooding have their water tested and use bottled water if necessary until water treatment options are available.
Check our our flood resources here.
President Trump visited North and South Carolina Wednesday, praising first responders in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
"America grieves with you and our hearts break for you," Trump said of the families who had lost loved ones in the storm.
The President said the federal government would do everything necessary to ensure recovery.
The Water Quality Association has a special page where members and the public can donate to the American Red Cross to aid victims of Hurricane Florence. Please take a moment to consider donating to Hurricane Relief. Thank you!
At least 500,000 homes and businesses in North and South Carolina are without power. Check out these stories tracking the impact of Hurricane Florence:
News reports tracking the effects of Hurricane Florence indicate there growing health threats from the flood waters in communities hard hit by the storm. CNN reports another 2 - 5 inches of rain, with localized amounts topping 8 inches could fall across central and southeastern North Carolina.
"Catastrophic and historic river flooding will continue for days across portions of the Carolinas," the National Weather Service said.
One of the hardest hit cities is Wilmington, North Carolina, where flooding is so severe that not even aid workers can get in to assist residents. At least 15,000 people are staying in shelters, according to reports. Some of the shelters are caring for pets.
The latest news reports on Hurricane Florence. Check back for further updates from our Crisis Response Blog.
The Water Quality Association warns that Hurricane Florence poses a threat to drinking water for people affected by the storm, but that there are precautions that can be taken to protect residents in the affected areas.
“This is a powerful hurricane and our concern is for anyone who may be caught in the path of Florence or who will be returning to their homes once the storm has passed,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “Our main concern is for possible drinking water contamination.”
WQA's Crisis Response Blog is continuing to offer tips and helpful resources while also tracking the response to those affected by the hurricane and the aftermath of the severe weather.