Seven of the Most Devastating Hurricane Michael Photos You'll Ever See

Jan Cross
October 12, 2018

Helicopter footage showed scenes of devastation in the town of Mexico Beach, Florida on Thursday.

"The wind was really tearing us apart", said retiree Tom Garcia, 60, who was trapped inside his Mexico Beach home as water poured in to waist height.

Brad Rippey, a meteorologist for the US Agriculture Department, said Michael severely damaged cotton, timber, pecans and peanuts, causing estimated liabilities as high as $1.9bn and affecting up to 1.5 million hectares.

There have been six confirmed storm-related deaths so far - four in Florida's Gadsden County, one in Georgia, and one in North Carolina.

The Florida governor and U.S. Senate candidate commended the federal response to his state, saying FEMA Administrator Brock Long and President Trump have both reiterated their commitment to providing any aid necessary.

An estimated 6,000 people evacuated to emergency shelters, mostly in Florida, and that number was expected to swell to 20,000 across five states by week's end, said Brad Kieserman of the American Red Cross.

Much of Port St Joe, 19km east of Mexico Beach, was underwater after Michael hit, snapping boats in two and hurling a large ship onto the shore, residents said.

Hurricane Michael made landfall close to the small town and according to authorities it bore the full brunt of the storm.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said: "The center of Michael will move through eastern Georgia into central SC this morning".

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For the big tourist destinations of Panama City Beach, Destin and Fort Walton, it could be months before they are back on an even keel as the hurricane destroyed homes, businesses and resorts, uprooted thousands of trees, and tore down power lines across the region. "The good thing is you know right away you're being exposed to it". The damage at Bay Medical Sacred Heart included blown-out windows, a cracked exterior wall and a roof collapse in a maintenance building.

While search-and-rescue teams were having difficulty reaching some areas on Thursday, the extent of the damage is slowly becoming clear with the before and after images showing the severe destruction.

Buildings damaged by Hurricane Michael are seen in Panama City, Florida, US, October 11, 2018. Though most homes were still standing, no property was left undamaged.

Michael, the third most powerful hurricane ever to hit the USA mainland, weakened overnight to a tropical storm but marched northeast on Thursday, toppling trees with 80kph winds and bringing "life threatening" flash flooding to Georgia and Virginia, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported.

One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit her in the head.

Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson said: "There are so many downed power lines and trees that it's nearly impossible to get through the city". Both were killed when trees crashed onto their homes. "We thought the windows were going to break at any time", Beu said. Twisted street signs lay on the ground. Pine trees were stripped and snapped off about 6 meters high.

More than 370,000 people in Florida were ordered to evacuate but officials believe many ignored the warning.

"Dawn in Panama City, Florida, revealed a sprawling mess of nearly unimaginable devastation wrought by the third-most powerful hurricane in recorded history to lash the USA mainland", as Fox News reported.

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