Mayor Al Cathey of Mexico Beach, Fla. said search-and-rescue teams were making their way through the damage faced by the town, and said the remaining residents had received enough food and water, the Associated Press reported.
Just down the road, Lighthouse Church here in Panama City Beach took a more direct hit.
Miami fire chief Joseph Zahralban, leader of a search-and-rescue unit in the 1,000-strong community, said: "We have one confirmed deceased and are working to determine if there are others". He spoke as his team was winding down its two-day search.
More than 757,000 customers are still without power in seven states following the storm, which touched down on the Panhandle as one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the United States, leaving a trail of destruction that stretched as far as Virginia.
Michael was one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit the U.S. and this Gulf Coast community was in its bullseye.
Hector Morales, a 57-year-old cook, never thought of evacuating. His mobile home wasn't on the beach but when it suddenly began floating during the hurricane, he jumped out and swam to a fishing boat and clambered aboard. "I was picking three bale cotton (this week); today it is gone", cotton farmer and state Rep. Clay Pirkle said. "But I made it".
MEXICO BEACH, Fla. Rescuers intensified efforts today to find survivors who might be trapped amid the ruins of a small Florida Panhandle community almost obliterated by Hurricane Michael, where one body has already been recovered, tempers are flaring, and the electric utility is warning that power could be out for weeks.
More than 1,700 search and rescue workers were deployed, Scott's office said, including seven swift-water rescue teams and almost 300 ambulances. They hope to complete those inspections later on Saturday.
Accounting for those missing has been made more hard by damaged mobile phone coverage in many areas.
Officials in Bay County, which includes Mexico Beach, told people to leave ahead of the hurricane, but not everyone did. Jill Braxton stopped with a pickup truck loaded with hay, saying many people in rural areas nearby had trapped animals and needed supplies for their livestock. The wind shredded the roof of his single-story home.
The front door of Bay Medical Sacred Heart in Panama City was boarded up Friday and water service hadn't been restored but a handmade sign directed patients to the emergency room, which remains operational.
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The scientific research group Climate Central says unless the rate of greenhouse gas emissions changes, hurricanes are expected to intensify more rapidly in the coming decades.
With the majority of its 26,000 students displaced and many schools deemed not safe because of the damage, officials are discussing alternative ways to get students back to the classroom and to provide psychological aid for them.
The death toll now at 17 across four states, but the number could rise as search crews sift through towns and communities leveled by the storm. There was this whole notion that the trees were going to help us, take the wind out of the storm.
Debris strewn over streets in Mexico Beach, October 11.
"I didn't recognize nothing", said 25-year-old Tiffany Marie Plushnik, an evacuee who returned to a home in Sandy Creek too damaged to live in.
Lighthouse Pastor Cole Bailey told CBN News, "I think we all know that's just a building, it's just a building".
Instead of addressing this criticism and heeding widespread calls for a comprehensive relief effort that leaves no one behind, President Donald Trump has praised himself for doing a "fantastic job" mobilizing federal resources following last year's hurricanes and downplayed the horrifying death toll in Puerto Rico, where an estimated 3,000 people died as a result of Hurricane Maria.
"We are with you!" he tweeted.
While Nelson visited multiple emergency operations centers and met with leaders at hard hit Tyndall Air Force Base.
Numerous 600 families who live there followed orders to pack what they could in a single suitcase as they were evacuated.