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Rick Scott: ‘My biggest concern is loss of life’

In the wake of Hurricane Michael’s destruction, Gov. Rick Scott made the rounds of TV interviews Thursday morning, with spots on CNN and the Weather Channel.

The Category 4 hurricane barreled over Mexico Beach Wednesday, leaving a swath of destruction through Bay. Leon, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, and Wakulla counties; over a third of a million people are waking up without power the day after the storm.

On CNN, an exhausted Scott lauded the Coast Guard as unbelievable, noting that search and rescue crews are in the affected areas.

“My biggest concern is loss of life,” Scott said on CNN. “This area has lots of forests, trees everywhere. We’re going to get to you as fast as we can.”

“I just wish this had never happened,” Scott added.

Scott added that FEMA, the Coast Guard, and the National Guard, along with search and rescue forces, have been deployed, and the federal government is offering reinforcements.

However, on CNN, he gave no estimate regarding the human toll.

“I don’t know the numbers yet, but we’re going to take care of everybody,” Scott said. “I want everybody to stay safe. We have a lot of debris, downed power lines.”

“We’re trying to clear I-10 right now, to get the roads open as quickly as we can,” Scott said.

Scott noted that compared to other storms like Irma, Hurricane Michael “happened so fast,” muddling calls to evacuate in the region, signaling out storm surge as a particular issue.

“It completely fills up your house, and it sucks everything out,” Scott said.

On the Weather Channel, Scott addressed damage in individual towns, such as Mexico Beach.

“We have a lot of communities that are just pockets in the middle of forests,” Scott said. “Mexico Beach is devastated.”

“Everything from Panama City to Mexico Beach is devastated,” Scott said.

Ambulances are headed to nursing homes for evacuations, Scott said on the Weather Channel, inviting a follow-up question (that didn’t come) regarding generators at these facilities.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at

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