MEXICO BEACH, FL (CNN) – The scenes of devastation left behind by Hurricane Michael are almost unreal, especially along the Florida Panhandle.
Search and rescue teams have been going home to home – or what’s left of them – in hopes of finding anyone who might be trapped in the rubble.
Michael has left behind a trail of destruction from Florida to Virginia.
As of Friday night, the death toll from the storm had reached 17, according to CNN.
“I can’t describe it. It’s just terrible,” said one resident of Mexico Beach, FL.
The diminished storm moved out to sea Friday morning, but not before delivering a final blow to the storm-weary Carolinas and Virginia.
But it was Florida’s coastal towns that felt the worst of Michael’s wrath – with Mexico Beach being ground zero.
“We just prayed. That’s all we could do, is pray,” said another Mexico Beach resident. “When the water started coming through the ceiling, we just thought, ‘It’s over.’”
He added: “This town will take years to recover from this.”
The painful reality is just beginning to set in for many residents.
Search and rescue crews are continuing to comb through the remnants of homes and businesses.
There’s still limited cell service in some impacted areas. People are slowly getting in touch with loved ones, and they’re starting to figure out just how to get on the road to recovery.
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