The most powerful hurricane on record to hit Florida's Panhandle left wide destruction and at least two people dead and wasn't almost finished Thursday as it crossed Georgia, now as a tropical storm, toward the Carolinas, that are still reeling from epic flooding by Hurricane Florence.
Search and rescue teams faced a second day of sifting through the ruined landscape left by Hurricane Michael on Friday as the death toll rose to 11.
Reuters reported that it could be weeks before power is restored in parts of the Florida panhandle, where Michael hit on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane. A councilwoman from there issued an urgent plea to anyone thinking of returning.
The El Governor is one of the few structures left standing on the beach side of Highway 98 in Mexico Beach after Hurricane Michael tore through the city earlier in the week.
"I've watched on television, thinking of what others have experienced, like in the Carolinas and Texas", Mexico Beach Mayor Al Cathey told reporters referring to hurricanes this year and last.
Allender continued with a shaky voice as he continued to describe the current situation in Panama City, saying the damage would only get worse as drivers continued to east. What used to be a gorgeous beachfront city now looks like an apocalyptic mess.
Residents like Scott Boutwell are in shock. "When the water came in, houses started floating in front of our home". "We had furniture in our house that wasn't even our furniture".
The sheer force of Hurricane Michael has been well analysed, but it's only when you see the everyday stuff of people's lives crushed, broken, smashed to pieces, that you realise they will be living with this long after we have gone. All the stores, all the restaurants, everything. "People will just pack up and leave".
The students and staff at Jinks Middle School have dealt with disaster before.
In Panama City, buildings were crushed, tall pine trees were sent flying and a steeple was knocked off a church. "I don't know what I'm going to do", he said.
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"Resiliency is important, and it's an important life message that we all have to learn".
About 5,000 USA servicemen were deployed to help with relief and recovery efforts, the Pentagon said, using 100 helicopters and 1,800 high-water vehicles.
Joseph Zahralban is Miami's fire chief.
A 38-year-old motorist also was killed by a massive tree in Statesville, NC, and 11-year-old Sarah Radney of Georgia was killed when a metal carport struck her in the head as she hunkered down in her Seminole County home. But state emergency officials said they were happily canceling plans to roll out refrigerator vehicles to serve as temporary morgues, and instead would use the teams to distribute food and water.
Spots in Morganton and Mocksville saw more than 5 inches of rain, says the USGS.
Her brother was able to tell a friend that his home was starting to get cracks in the walls and water was rushing in Wednesday.
Bob Tenbrunesel's home in Mexico Beach was damaged but not destroyed. "I just thank God my kids and my grandkids were not in the auto".
Michael moved quickly through Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia and then out to sea.
Authorities said the full extent of devastation would not be known until after daybreak in Florida on Thursday.
In the aftermath of this storm, other officials are also beginning to reflect on how the catastrophic damage could have been prevented. The planet has warmed significantly over the past several decades, causing changes in the environment. But it is expected to continue its rapid travels, reaching the northwest coast of Spain on Monday, according to current predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center.