Photos and videos show mass destruction from 'Monstrous' Michael in Florida

Photos and videos show mass destruction from 'Monstrous' Michael in Florida

Photos and videos show mass destruction from 'Monstrous' Michael in Florida

"Hurricane Michael is the worst storm that the Florida panhandle has ever seen, and one of the worst power storms to ever make landfall in the United States", Florida Gov. Rick Scott said at a press conference Wednesday night.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Michael would dump as much as 20cm of rain in some areas.

The hurricane damaged hospitals and nursing homes in the Panama City area, and officials worked to evacuate hundreds of patients.

"Blue skies, right in the eye", marveled Melendez.

The number of dead was expected to rise, but authorities scrapped plans for setting up a temporary morgue, indicating they had yet to see signs of mass casualties from the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental almost 50 years.

The storm was officially classified as a Category 4 - on the verge of Category 5 - but weakened as it continued its rapid advance up towards Georgia and the Carolinas, where cities still reeling from Hurricane Florence prepared for another onslaught of rain and wind. The storm was moving northeast at 24 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour. Michael caused storm surge of up to 14 ft.

Michael Williams, 70, waves to passing motorists while looking for food and water as downed trees prevent him from driving out of his damaged hom with his family in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Springfield, Fla., Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.

Boutwell said he doesn't even know where to begin his family's recovery effort.

The concern was for people who ignored evacuation orders ahead of the storm and stayed put in communities that were demolished by Michael's ferocity on Wednesday.

Leaders in our nation's capital said they're just beginning to understand Hurricane Michael's devastation.

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The New York Times reported that it was downgraded to a tropical storm around midnight, "once it had raced through the Panhandle and southwest Georgia as a hurricane".

Row after row of beachfront homes were so obliterated by Michael's surging seas and howling winds that only slabs of concrete in the sand remain, a testament that this was ground zero when the epic Category 4 hurricane slammed ashore at midweek. It was the strongest hurricane ever to hit the Florida Panhandle, and the third strongest ever to strike the US mainland.

Coastal Florida cities have been damaged beyond recognition while homes, businesses, and agriculture have been tattered or flooded from Georgia to Virginia.

"The Gulf Power system held strong from Pensacola to Fort Walton Beach - a testament to the investments we've made to harden our infrastructure.", said Gulf Power spokesperson Jeff Rogers.

Kieserman said the number of people in emergency shelters number is expected to reach 20,000 across five states by the end of the week. The Coast Guard reported rescuing 129 people.

Rescue teams were using sniffer dogs in Mexico Beach on Friday in a search for victims who may be buried under the rubble in the debris-strewn community.

Jyotsana Patel picks up debris in her home damaged by Hurricane Michael in Parker, Fla., on October 11, 2018.

Many residents with destroyed or damaged homes counted themselves lucky to have survived.

A year ago saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Harvey, which caused a record-equaling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area. "I'm hoping his phone is just dead and not worse", she said.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chief Brock Long said many buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane.

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