‘It’s Gone. It’s Gone’: Hurricane Michael Effectively Flattened This Florida City
Mexico Beach, Florida, absorbed most of the initial blast from Hurricane Michael, and now the small town is essentially leveled to the ground.
“It’s gone. It’s gone,” CNN’s Brooke Baldwin said Thursday while flying over the city. “It’s obliterated and it’s awful. It’s awful to look at,” she added.
Federal officials say Mexico Beach took the bulk of the initial hit. It’s too early to tell if the city’s inhabitants heeded the evacuation warnings.
“Mexico Beach took the brunt,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long said Thursday. “That’s probably ground zero.”
Roughly 359,000 accounts are without power in Florida after Michael made landfall Wednesday afternoon, public utilities in the state noted Wednesday night. That number balloons to more than half-a-million once numbers from Georgia are factored in.
Michael, which struck as a Category 4 before weakening over land, also killed a man in Florida and a girl in Georgia, but the numbers will likely increase once officials navigate through the debris.
It is expected to drop seven inches of rain from eastern Georgia to the southern mid-Atlantic, and up to nine inches of rain in parts of North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said.
Michael sustained wind gusts of 155 mph upon arrival before weakening. It is also threatening to create a massive storm surge — up to 12 feet in parts of northwestern Florida. (RELATED: Rick Scott Issues Dire Warning Ahead Of Hurricane Michael)