SEMINOLE COUNTY, Ga. - An 11-year-old girl was killed after a portable carport was picked up by fierce winds and crashed into a house during Hurricane Michael, Seminole County officials say.
Channel 2's Chris Jose is in Donalsonville, where Seminole County Coroner Chad Smith on Thursday identified the girl as Sarah Radney.
Smith said an official cause of death had not been determined but that it would likely be massive blunt force trauma.
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Seminole County Emergency Management Agency Director Travis Brooks said strong winds picked up a portable carport Wednesday and dropped it down on the roof of the home where the girl was inside. One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit the girl in the head.
The Donalsonville community, which is just north of the Florida line, appeared to be one of the hardest hit areas in Georgia.
Jose found a town that looked more like a war zone with buildings torn apart and reduced to rubble and twisted metal, numerous trees on top of homes and power poles snapped in half like toothpicks.
Jose spoke to several residents who say they are just happy to have gotten away with their lives.
A 200-year-old oak tree fell on top of Jerry Winder's house as he slept. Winder said the chimney blew off and landed on his car.
"It could have been me. It really could," Winder said. "Just have someone watching over me."
Carl Godwin lost the roof to his home. Goodwin said he and his friend were nearly killed after the ceiling collapsed. He said the winds were gusting so hard he and his friend fled the house, got in their car and drove to a safer location.
"If you’ve seen the way this roof came off, we had to go man," Goodwin said. "It was a scary situation."
Officials said wind gusts peaked at 115 mph at the Donalsonville Airport. Jose found planes at the airport flipped upside down.
Restoring power to the area could take days, if not weeks, officials said. Clean up is just beginning.
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