Authorities filed criminal charges against a North Carolina woman for driving around barricades on N.C. Highway 218 last month during Hurricane Florence, an act that led to the drowning of her 1-year-old son, officials said.
Dazia Ideah Lee, 20, of Charlotte, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and a misdemeanor charge of driving on a closed/unopened highway.
They said the mother continued driving on N.C. 218 until her vehicle came across rushing water flowing across the road. Her car left the road but eventually stopped among a group of trees at Richardson Creek near New Salem.
Authorities said the mother was able to free herself and Kaiden Lee-Welch from the vehicle, but she lost her grip on him in the rushing water.
A 40-pound pizza you can only find in New York City goes for $2,000.
However, the owner of Champion Pizza said every penny he makes off the cheeseburger pie will go toward Hurricane Florence victims in North Carolina.
The pizza has five layers and takes a lot of preparation.
It’s so big that at least two people have to load it into the oven, and the pizza has to be split in half to fit.
The pizza is sold at seven locations across New York City.
"I wish or I hope like someone who likes pizza and makes $100,000 – you never know – maybe someone will buy that,” owner Hakki Akdeniz said.
As people in Florida are struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, a Jacksonville man is wanted on allegations of defrauding FEMA of thousands of dollars.
Lepoleon Spikes is accused of claiming damage to different homes in Jacksonville for three separate storms.
A grand jury indictment claims he provided FEMA with fraudulent lease agreements as proof of damage.
Documents say Spikes was awarded thousands of dollars after Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, as well as Tropical Storm Debby.
“You’re taking from people and families that really need the money,” said Scherlinda Bennett, who says her home was flooded during both Matthew and Irma.
ActionNewsJax went to one of the homes where Spikes supposedly lived, but learned that was years ago. The home’s current owner claims it never had storm damage.
Hurricane Michael battered Florida's Panhandle on Wednesday, bringing with it destructive 155 mph winds and life-threatening storm surge.
Its winds ripped apart homes, and feet of storm surge left homes underwater.
Photos and video from the Panama City area show the path of destruction left behind by the near-Category 5 storm.
Check them out below:
President Donald Trump is likely to visit storm-ravaged areas of Florida and Georgia hit by Hurricane Michael early next week, White House officials told reporters aboard Air Force One on Wednesday.
The president spoke with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey during the flight to receive updates on the storm, which barreled into Florida on Wednesday and pounded parts of south and middle Georgia with rain and wind.
The White House said Trump “offered any federal resources necessary and continues to receive regular updates.”
Only a few storms have made landfall in the United States stronger than Hurricane Michael. Only three Category 5 storms have ever hit the continental United States; Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3, was not one of them.
Before meteorologists and weather experts named storms, a Category 5 hurricane hit the Florida Keys on Labor Day 1935. That storm holds the record with winds of a staggering 185 miles per hour.
The second-worst storm to hit the continental U.S. was Hurricane Camille, which hit far western Mississippi in 1969 as a Category 5 storm.
The third-worst storm on the list is one still fresh in the minds of many Floridians: Hurricane Andrew, which hit South Florida in August 1992. The storm tore through Homestead as a Category 5 with winds peaking at 165 miles per hour.
That brings us to the present with Hurricane Michael, which is now the fourth-strongest hurricane in U.S. history.
When it comes to hurricanes that hit Florida’s Panhandle, Michael’s wind speed at landfall surpassed Hurricane Opal, which was the previous record holder. Opal made landfall near Pensacola as a Category 3 in 1995.
Nine people died in Hurricane Opal, and the damage totaled more than $4.7 billion.
Michael is stronger still than Hurricane Irma when it slammed into the Keys in 2017 with winds of 130 miles per hour – and Michael’s winds are three times stronger than what Central Florida experienced from Irma.
One comparison that will resonate with people is to last year’s “M” hurricane, Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and killed thousands. Maria made landfall over southeast Puerto Rico with winds of 155 miles per hour – the same intensity as Michael when it hit Mexico Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, though the eye of Maria was slightly larger, which allowed for more widespread damage.
Vice President Mike Pence canceled his Thursday visit to Georgia to host a high-dollar GOP fundraiser as Hurricane Michael roared through the state.
It was the second time the Republican was forced to scrap a visit to Georgia to boost Brian Kemp’s run for governor due to a major storm. He canceled a September visit because Hurricane Florence was barreling toward the Southeast.
He was set to visit Delta’s TechOps maintenance facility before heading to the Grand Hyatt Buckhead for the Georgia GOP’s Victory Dinner. Democrats planned to greet him with a large rally outside the hotel featuring supporters of Democrat Stacey Abrams.
He was likely to face a cascade of criticism if he went through the trip, similar to the pushback President Donald Trump faced for traveling to a political rally for a Pennsylvania lawmaker shortly after the hurricane made landfall.
Trump said the decision to go was a “quandary” but that he did not want to disappoint the crowd expecting him.
“I hear they have thousands of people lined up, so we are in a little bit of a quagmire," he said.
Ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Michael, thousands of people on the Florida Panhandle are heeding the warning to prepare for the worst or get out.
Photos on social media show deserted store shelves, stacked sandbags, busy evacuation routes, and ominous clouds closing in on the coast.
Check out some of the posts below:
Atlanta-based Delta said it is capping fares at $299 each way Oct. 9-11 for coach class to and from Pensacola, Panama City, Destin-Fort Walton Beach and Tallahassee, Florida; and Mobile, Alabama.
First-class fares are capped at $499 each way for those cities during that Tuesday-Thursday time period.
Delta is also waiving certain change fees for passengers flying to, from or through those cities Tuesday or Wednesday who want to change their plans to avoid the storm.
The airline said it is monitoring the storm, which is predicted to move through south Georgia and the Carolinas “by mid-week into Friday as the storm weakens,” according to the carrier.
Meanwhile, Dallas-based Southwest warned that flights could be disrupted in Atlanta through Friday. Flights also could be disrupted through Tuesday in Cancun, Mexico, and Havana, Cuba; and from Tuesday through Thursday in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Panama City and Pensacola, Florida, according to Southwest.
Flights may be delayed, diverted or canceled, the airline said.
Southwest said customers who have flights booked to, from or through those cities on those dates can rebook without paying an additional charge, under certain restrictions.
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