The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posted a pair of images Thursday night showing some of the wreckage Post-Tropical Cyclone Michael caused in parts of Florida.
NOAA published images of Mexico Beach, Florida, after the small town absorbed most of the initial blast from Michael. The images are a stark reminder of what a Category 4 hurricane is capable of doing, given the right circumstances.
The before images show a small, thriving ocean-front town, replete with commercial buildings and homes. Photos of the town after Michael rolled through appear to show an area blasted by sharp winds and torrential rain.
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 shortly after Michael left Florida and made tracks for Georgia and Virginia. “That’s probably ground zero.”
CNN’s Brooke Baldwin showed overhead footage of Mexico Beach Thursday morning.
“It’s gone. It’s gone,” Baldwin said Thursday while flying over the city. “It’s obliterated and it’s awful. It’s awful to look at.”
Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 hurricane before cutting a swath of destruction through parts of Georgia and Virginia. Officials worry the number of people killed could rise once they sift through the debris.
The storm is expected to produce storm surge flooding along the North Carolina coast, drop rain on New England, and could even produce up to 5 inches of rain in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts before moving out to the Atlantic Ocean.
The death toll increased to 11, with at least five of the deaths occurring in Virginia, according to officials. (RELATED: ‘It’s Gone. It’s Gone’: Hurricane Michael Effectively Flattened This Florida City)
Four died in Virginia after being swept away in floodwaters along roads, and the fifth was a firefighter who was killed in a crash along a highway, according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
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