Florida’s Panhandle took stock on Thursday (October 11) of the hammering destruction wrought by Hurricane Michael, with homes obliterated or reduced to rubble and power lines and trees ripped up by the third most powerful storm ever to strike the U.S. mainland. In Panama City, 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Mexico Beach, buildings were crushed and boats were scattered around. Michael left a trail of utility wires on roads, flattened tall pine trees and toppled a giant truck on to its side.
Florida Governor Rick Scott warned residents to stay off the roads as recovery efforts got underway.
“This hurricane was an absolute monster, and the damage left in its wake has yet to be fully understood,” Scott said.
Michael, now weakened to a tropical storm as it doused Georgia and the Carolinas with drenching rain, crashed ashore on Wednesday near the small town of Mexico Beach carrying winds of up to 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour) and causing deep seawater flooding. The storm killed two people.