Beachside town battered by Hurricane Michael

The region is renowned for its pristine beaches

"We'll have to bulldoze and start over", Linda Marquardt, of Mexico Beach, said of her mud-filled home.

Michael, one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the United States, left the East Coast early Friday morning.

Hurricane Michael destroyed homes and businesses across Florida and Georgia after making landfall near Mexico Beach at near Category 5 strength on Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities said the state mental hospital in Chattahoochee, which has a section for the criminally insane, was cut off by land, and food and supplies were being flown in. Only first responders were allowed in and an 8pm curfew was imposed.

At Jinks Middle School in Panama City, the storm tore off part of the gym roof and one wall, leaving the wooden floor covered in water.

"The kids live nearby". "I have been up since 3.30 or 4am emailing and checking on staff to see if they are safe".

Almost 950,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida, Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia on yesterday.

There were at least 6 confirmed fatalities, including a Florida man killed by a tree that crashed through his roof, a North Carolina man also struck by a fallen tree, and an 11-year-old Georgia girl who died when a carport rammed the family's modular home.

Tropical Storm Michael is bringing damaging winds and life-threatening flash flooding over portions of North Carolina and Virginia before heading off into the Atlantic Ocean, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Thursday.

Melendez captured the footage during a Facebook Live video, soon after Category 4 Hurricane Michael - packing 155 miles per hour winds - became the third-strongest cyclone to make landfall in US history.

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