Many Florida homes were left in the dark as a result of the powerful hurricane Michael reaching category four status a week ago. These homes are now the target of looters, and Florida authorities have arrested about ten suspected looters in the Florida panhandle a night.
The county sheriff’s office in the Bay has now sent out a serious warning that the houses, as well as the businesses situated in the devastated region, are being targeted by looters, and these are armed according to the reports published by the Panama City News Herald.
Thieves Enter Houses While Owners Sleep
Victoria Smith, one of the victims, shared that while she and her family of four children were sleeping, thieves enter her house. Smith left her front door open during the steamy weather that followed hurricane Michael to allow or a breeze, and her power was off at the time. While she was sleeping her purse were snatched by the perpetrators and even clutching it to her chest could not prevent this. Mrs Smith explained that she was simply exhausted from trying to fend for her children and survive during the storm, which made her so tired that she never even heard the thieves entering her home.
Looters Will Be Shot
Due to the looting in some of the areas, residents have spray painted several signs now warning the looters. Some read “You Steal We Kill” while other warns that “Looters Will Be Shot”. In the wake of hurricane Michael, Stanford reported that it is also a stressful period for the officers, who continue to work 16-hour shifts, even when most of them have also lost their homes during the hurricane. The influx of officers and resources from several other areas are a great help although the looting and lawfulness are a major concern. The recent storm in Florida killed 16 people, most from the coastal county, while another ten deaths have been reported from elsewhere. Many officers continue to work 16 hours up to 18-hour shifts without any sleep or getting a chance to shower and now they also have to deal with armed looters. It is a stressful time in Bay County, and everyone is still dealing with the damage after the hurricane.
Hurricane Michael’s Fury, A Week After Still Being Discovered
It is a week after hurricane Michael, and in largely-flattened town’s there are desperate searches still for missing persons. Neighbourhoods are devastated by the powerful blow from hurricane Michael, which was the strongest to hit Florida in almost 50 years. Slowly, cell phone services are returning, while 137,000 in northern Florida are without power. The lack of phone services and the electricity hampers the efforts to distribute water and food, and many residents have not been heard from since the storm. Officials have not announced how many are missing, although the death toll is 29 at the moment for North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Florida. As one resident describes it “We Basically Lots Old Florida.”