Mexico Beach is 'wiped out' by Hurricane Michael as other Florida cities are smashed

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MEXICO BEACH, Fla. - What used to be a gorgeous beachfront city now looks like an apocalyptic mess after Hurricane Michael shredded Mexico Beach, Florida.

"Mexico Beach was wiped out," said Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "That's probably ground zero."

Michael made landfall Wednesday near Mexico Beach as monstrous Category 4 hurricane, annihilating homes with its 155-mph winds.

"It feels like a nightmare," Mexico Beach Councilwoman Linda Albrecht said. "Somebody needs to come up and shake you and wake you up."

Other catastrophic scenes are emerging across the Florida Panhandle, where Michael left more than 350,000 without power and entire neighborhoods in ruins.

In the decimated city of Callaway, pieces of obliterated houses litter rain-drenched roads. Every telephone pole in sight has snapped in half.

 

"It's very hard to explain," said Jason Gunderson, a member of the Cajun Navy rescue group. "The only way I can explain it, through my eyeballs, is a Third World country war zone."

The storm has already killed a man in Florida and a girl in Georgia. And as rescue workers sift through the debris Thursday, many fear the death toll will rise.

After slamming Florida and lashing Georgia, Michael is now threatening the storm-weary Carolinas. Tornadoes, dangerous winds and more flooding are possible in many of the same areas still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

Michael is expected to dump 4 to 7 inches of rain from eastern Georgia to the southern mid-Atlantic and up to 9 inches of rain in parts of North Carolina and Virginia, the National Hurricane Center said.