(The New York Times) Hurricane Michael’s death toll rose to 16 on Friday and was expected to climb higher as emergency workers searched rubble and the storm’s grim consequences stretched from the Florida Panhandle into Virginia. Rescue teams were in the early stages of combing a region razed by a Category 4 hurricane that flattened blocks, collapsed buildings and left infrastructure crippled. Some of the hardest-hit

communities have yet to report any fatalities, and although officials said they hoped they would find survivors, a resigned gloom was setting in throughout the disaster zone. Dr. Jay Radtke, the medical examiner for some of the areas of most concern, including Panama City and Mexico Beach, said he could not release any information on the number of dead in the six Panhandle counties under his jurisdiction. “We are swamped,” he said. “It’s a disaster zone down here.” READ MORE