SEARCH and rescue teams have begun combing through shattered US communities looking for victims of Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 monster storm that carved out a swathe of destruction in the Florida Panhandle, killing at least six in three states.
Mexico Beach was hit headon by Hurricane Michael. Numerous homes in the small Gulf Coast community of about 1190 people were shattered or ripped from their foundations.
The streets closest to the water looked as if a bomb had gone off. What the 2.7m storm surge didn’t destroy, the 250km/h winds finished off.
Now, rescuers and residents are struggling to get into the ground-zero town to assess the damage and search for the hundreds of people believed to have stayed behind.
Florida Governor Rick Scott said the storm had caused “unbelievable devastation” and the priority for the moment was looking for survivors among residents who failed to heed orders to evacuate.
Michael has since been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves through the Carolinas, which are still recovering from last month’s Hurricane Florence.
FLATTENED: Homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida.
Tamiya Waldon looks out at the damage to her neighborhood.