UPDATED 3:15 PM PT – Sat. Oct. 13, 2018
President Trump declares a state of emergency in Alabama, due to the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Michael.
The announcement was made Saturday, and authorizes FEMA and the DHS to provide assistance to areas affected by the storm.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey responded to the news, expressing his gratitude to the president.
He said the declaration will be a huge benefit to the smaller communities, which were damaged during the hurricane.
Alabama FEMA Director Brian Hastings, says working with federal agencies, will be an important part of helping Alabamans move back to a sense of normalcy.
The death toll from Michael has climbed to at least 17 people and is expected to rise, as search and rescue efforts continue.
On Friday, Florida officials confirmed the storm claimed the lives of three more people in Jackson county.
So far, a total of eight have died in Florida, five in Virginia, three in North Carolina, and one in Georgia.
At least one of those deaths are said to be caused by debris, flooding, or a storm-related crash.
Officials said, thousands of people are being reported missing to local authorities.
This comes as more than one million people remain without electricity in seven states.