Hurricane Michael made landfall as a strong Category 4 storm, bringing 155 mph winds to shore.
Due to severe safety concerns, officials in Bay County, Florida, said emergency crews wouldn’t respond to emergency calls placed during the storm. During a press conference Wednesday, officials expressed serious concerns of the amount of people who chose to stay and ride out the storm.
"I'm worried that large numbers didn't evacuate, because we have very good information that they didn't,” said Chief Mark Bowen with Bay County Emergency Services. “When you look at shelter counts, traffic counts, and the number of people who live in those evacuation zones, it's just math. So, there are people out in this storm. It’s just physics and common sense that there's going to be some situations out there that could be unsurvivable.”
Emergency responders got emotional as they spoke of having to hunker down and wait out the worst of the storm before they could respond to those in need. They say as soon as it’s safe, they will work as fast as possible to get to those who need assistance.