At least 3 dead in storm’s wake as toll visible: Debris, 900,000 without power
PANAMA CITY — The devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael came into focus Thursday with row upon row of homes found smashed to pieces, and rescue crews struggling to enter stricken areas in hopes of accounting for hundreds of people who may have stayed behind.
At least three deaths — one each in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina — were blamed on Michael, the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in decades, and it wasn’t done yet: Though reduced to a tropical storm, it brought flash flooding to North Carolina and Virginia, soaking areas still recovering from Hurricane Florence.
Under a clear blue sky, families living along the Florida Panhandle emerged from shelters and hotels to a perilous landscape of shattered homes and shopping centers, wailing sirens and hovering helicopters.
Gov. Rick Scott said the Panhandle awoke to “unimaginable destruction.”
The coastal town of Mexico Beach lies devastated after Hurricane Michael made landfall Wednesday in the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm.
A boat sits lodged in a home in Mexico Beach on Thursday. Entire blocks of homes near the beach were obliterated.