Tess Talarico shared Instagram videos from Mexico Beach, about 20 miles south of Panama City, showing the progression of storm damage over several hours. Whipping winds bent palm trees, tore pieces of metal off roofs, destroyed buildings and left some structures fully submerged in water.
“The wind is now 140 and we can barely see anything,” Talarico posted Wednesday with a video that showed tumultuous waves and wind outside her window.
“A whole house is gone and is floating in front of our place,” she posted a couple of hours later, with more wreckage and rising waters below.
“This is what it looks like right now,” she said in another update. “All the houses are submerged.”
With winds that reached 155 miles per hour, Hurricane Michael is “the worst storm that the Florida Panhandle has seen in more than 100 years,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday morning.
Officials had warned residents to evacuate and seek shelter before the storm made landfall.
“This is the final call for anyone who needs to get out,” FEMA chief Brock Long said at a press conference Wednesday morning. “Those who stick around to experience storm surge don’t typically live to tell about it.”