The latest hurricane to hit the United States made landfall at Florida’s panhandle on Wednesday and is now working its way up the East Coast. As of Thursday morning, two deaths have been reported, homes are destroyed, and hundreds of thousands are without electricity. As the storm began retreating from some areas, photos of Hurricane Michael circulated that demonstrated its immense power.
At 10 a.m. ET, around 840,000 people were reported to be without power in the south, according to PowerOutage.us, with the majority of the outages occurring in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina and the rest in Alabama and North Carolina. Two people are known to have died, according to the Tallahassee Democrat, including an 11-year-old girl. Both died when trees fell on their homes, according to the paper. Emergency workers had difficulty reaching them to provide assistance.
Damage was reported to be especially bad where the hurricane first made landfall at Mexico Beach. According to local outlet WKRG, the storm battered the area with winds of 155 miles per hour that blew off roofs and snapped trees. “You can’t drive a car anywhere, you can’t do anything because it’s littered with houses, pieces of houses,” resident Patricia Mulligan told The New York Times.
“Hurricane Michael is the worst storm that the Florida Panhandle has ever seen,” Gov. Rick Scott said on Wednesday evening. He added that the government will be “turning 100 percent of our focus to search and rescue, and recovery.” Here are some photos that show what the hurricane left in its wake.
Here, the storm surge floods across a road in the panhandle.
The St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers join in Florida’s small town of St. Marks. As Hurricane Michael approached on Wednesday, it drove the storm surge up the rivers into town by its marina, as seen here.
Panama City resident Chuck Cummins found shelter in a parking garage during the storm.
This mobile home was ripped to pieces in Panama City.
Another home in Panama City after the hurricane moved through.
A trash barrel blows down the street in Panama City.
This photo was taken at Crawfordville’s Shell Point Beach at sunset on Wednesday. Just a few weeks ago, a video went viral of a flag ripping in half during Hurricane Florence.
Another flag in downtown Panama City that couldn’t withstand the winds.
This photo captures The Cooter Stew Cafe in St. Marks as it began flooding on Wednesday.
This discount store in Panama City was hit hard.
Another damaged store in Panama City.
Destruction wreaked the retirement community Village of Shell Point in Crawfordville.
Here three residents of Panama City (Peggy Spell, Jacob Spell and Eddie Spell) wait out the storm in a Hilton Gardens Inn lobby. They fled their homes when it became clear that it wasn’t safe enough for them to remain.
“So many lives have been changed forever. So many families have lost everything,” Gov. Scott said on Thursday. “This hurricane was an absolute monster.” The emergency response has already begun; search-and-rescue teams are looking for people who could be trapped in their homes or under debris.
There are many ways to help victims of the storm. Donating is one of the best: Find a list of Hurricane Michael relief organizations that have been vetted by the charity watchdog Charity Navigator here.