It’s been nine days since Hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms to hit the U.S. in nearly 50 years, made landfall. Most of the storm’s damage was sustained by coastal towns of the Florida Panhandle, where 155 mph winds and a storm surge knocked out power lines and left thousands without access to food and water.
In Florida’s hardest-hit Bay County area, Mexico Beach residents were allowed to return home for the first time on Wednesday to survey the scope of the storm’s damage.
Here’s where the numbers stand today:
The death toll rose to at least 30 people across the U.S. Southeast. Twenty of those deaths were confirmed in Florida, six were reported in Virginia, one in Georgia and three in North Carolina, the Associated Press reported.
More than 124,000 customers in Florida and Georgia are still without power. The number has dropped from more than 1 million across the Southeast at its peak. Some in Florida’s hurricane-ravaged areas may not have power restored for another week or two, Reuters reports.
Cellphone service is being restored, but remains spotty in some areas. Earlier this week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott called Verizon out for the pace of restoration. But on Wednesday, service finally resumed for Panama City residents and the company announced it would be giving three months’ free service to customers in Bay and Gulf counties.
About 2.9 million meals and more than 3.4 million liters of water have been delivered to Florida residents by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. More than 2,600 families and households have also registered for its individual disaster assistance program, according to a FEMA statement.
Agricultural damage could reach $2.8 billion in Georgia alone. Major losses are expected in Georgia’s cotton and timber industries, the Georgia Department of Agriculture told CNN. In Florida, were about 1 million acres of field crops were impacted by the hurricane, 90 percent of cotton crops and 40 percent of peanut crops are expected to be at risk, according to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
What’s next: Damage continues to be assessed and hundreds are still awaiting word from missing friends and relatives.
Reuters reported that officials in Florida have not yet given a number of how many are believed to be missing — a figure that continues to be difficult to assess with limited communication in some areas. But a private volunteer organization is working off some estimates.
The Houston-based online platform CrowdSource Rescue — which has been coordinating volunteer rescue missions in the region — told Reuters that they were searching for more than 1,135 people reported to be missing on Wednesday. By Thursday, CrowdSource reported the number of persons still unaccounted for to have dropped to 548. Matthew Marchetti, the platform’s co-founder, said they expect the number to continue to decrease by the weekend, as road conditions and cellphone signal improve.