A woman and her children wait near a destroyed gas station after Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla. on Oct. 10, 2018.
Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images

'Many Families Have Lost Everything.' Photos Reveal Hurricane Michael's Destruction in Florida Panhandle

October 11, 2018

Hurricane Michael pummeled the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, wreaking havoc on communities when it made landfall as an unprecedented Category 4 storm and confirming fears that it would bring “unimaginable devastation” to the area.

Photographs of the aftermath began to convey the true extent of the destruction Hurricane Michael left behind.

The fast-intensifying storm — one of the most powerful to ever hit the U.S. mainland — destroyed buildings, tore roofs off of homes, shattered glass storefronts, toppled trees and power lines, and swept cars away in flood water. Hurricane winds reached 155 mph, and at least 11 hurricane-related deaths have been reported thus far in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

“This morning, Florida’s Gulf Coast, Panhandle and Big Bend are waking up to unimaginable destruction,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said at a press briefing Thursday. “So many lives have been changed forever. So many families have lost everything. Homes are gone, businesses are gone. Roads and infrastructure along the storm’s path have been destroyed. This hurricane was an absolute monster, and the damage left in its wake is still yet to be fully understood.”

Jason Phipps looks through his families roofless apartment after category 4 Hurricane Michael made land fall along the Florida panhandle, on Oct. 10, 2018 in Panama City, Fla.
Jabin Botsford—The Washington Post/Getty Images

Even after the storm subsided and moved out over the Atlantic Ocean on Friday morning, authorities said the death toll could still rise, as search and rescue efforts continue.

Responders found 20 people who survived the hurricane in Mexico Beach, which was under mandatory evacuation where the storm made landfall on Wednesday. But images and overhead video footage have revealed widespread destruction in that coastal community and others, where many homes were washed away, destroyed or fully submerged in water.

In Panama City, a train was knocked over by the storm and remnants of boats were left floating in marinas, surrounded by debris.

The hurricane’s winds and storm surge caused an estimated $3 to $5 billion in losses, according to an analysis by global property information firm CoreLogic on Friday. President Trump said he plans to visit Florida and Georgia early next week to assess the storm damage.

“Bottom line,” Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said Friday morning, “it was one of the most powerful storms that the country has seen since 1851.”

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection flight crew conducts search and rescue operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael that left a swath of destruction across the area near Panama City, Florida, on Oct. 11, 2018.
Glenn Fawcett—U.S. Customs and Border Protection/AFP/Getty Images
Hurricane Michael left massive destruction across the area near Panama City, Fla., on Oct. 11, 2018.
Glenn Fawcett—U.S. Customs and Border Protection/AFP/Getty Images
The power of Hurricane Michael's storm surge is evidenced by the damage done to State Road 98, which runs along the Gulf Coast in Carrabelle, Fla., on Oct. 11, 2018.
Johnny Milano—The New York Times/Redux
The coastal township of Mexico Beach, lay devastated on Thursday after Hurricane Michael made landfall on Wednesday in the Florida Panhandle.
Douglas R. Clifford—Tampa Bay Times/Zuma
Elizabeth Hanson, right, and her daughter, look at their home that was heavily damaged when Hurricane Michael passed through the area on Oct. 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Fla.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
Members of the South Florida Search and Rescue team search for survivors in the destruction left after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on Oct. 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Fla.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
A house was damaged by Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla., Oct 11, 2018.
Jonathan Bachman—Reuters
Homes and businesses along U.S. 98 are left in devastation by Hurricane Michael on Oct. 12, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Fla.
Mark Wallheiser—Getty Images
Storm damaged boats are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael on Oct. 11, 2018 in Panama City, Fla.
Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images
The overhang of a gas station is toppled over in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael on Oct. 11, 2018 in Inlet Beach, Fla.
Emily Kask—AFP/Getty Images
A store's windows are seen shattered as Hurricane Michael passed through the downtown area on 10 Oct., 2018 in Panama City, Fla.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
A woman rides out Hurricane Matthew in a hotel stairwell in Panama City Beach, Fla., Oct. 10, 2018.
Eric Thayer—The New York Times/Redux
Amanda Logsdon begins the process of trying to clean up her home after the roof was blown off by the passing winds of Hurricane Michael on Oct. 11, 2018 in Panama City, Fla.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
Haley Nelson inspects damages to her family properties in the Panama City, Fla., area after Hurricane Michael made landfall along Florida's Panhandle on Oct. 10, 2018.
Pedro Portal—Miami Herald/TNS/Getty Images
A car is seen caught in flood water after category 4 Hurricane Michael made land fall along the Florida panhandle, on Oct. 10, 2018 in Panama City, Fla.
Jabin Botsford—The Washington Post/Getty Images
Boats lay sunk and damaged at the Port St. Joe Marina in the Florida Panhandle on Oct. 10 after Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach.
Douglas R. Clifford—Tampa Bay Times/ZUMA Wire
A view of a hotel room with a collapsed wall in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael on Oct. 11, 2018 in Panama City, Fla.
Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images
People look on at a damaged store after Hurricane Michael passed through on Oct. 10, 2018 in Panama City, Fla.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
Storm damage is seen after Hurricane Michael Oct. 10, 2018 in Panama City, Fla.
Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images
Damage is seen throughout Panama City, Fla. as Hurricane Michael passes through the area on Oct. 10.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images (2)
Waves take over a house as Hurricane Michael comes ashore in Alligator Point, Fla., Oct. 10, 2018.
Carlo Allegri—Reuters
The front door of the Brooks Concrete business office is sandbagged in downtown Panacea, Fla. on Oct. 9, 2018 as Hurricane Michael churns toward the Florida Panhandle.
Douglas R. Clifford—Tampa Bay Times/Zuma
The eye of Hurricane Michael is seen above Florida.
NASA/AP/Shutterstock

Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com.