The Army Corps of Engineers is sending in generators to help get power to storm-ravaged areas, and teams to start clearing debris and begin building temporary roofs.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said officials were just starting to go in and survey the damage but expect power to be out for weeks in some areas. Hurricane Michael made landfall in Mexico Beach, just down the coast of Panama City, and left a wide path of destruction in its wake.

Long says "Mexico Beach took the brunt, that's probably ground zero."

Gov. Rick Scott says the Florida National Guard got into Mexico Beach and found 20 people who survived a direct hit from Hurricane Michael.

The town where the hurricane made landfall Wednesday remained very difficult to reach by land a day later, with roads covered by fallen trees, power lines and other storm debris.

Overhead video from a CNN helicopter Thursday morning reveals widespread devastation across the town of about 1,000 people.

Entire blocks of homes near the beach have been washed away, leaving nothing but concrete slabs in the sand. Rows and rows of other homes are smashed to pieces or crunched to the ground and leaning at odd angles.

The town was under a mandatory evacuation order as the rapidly developing storm targeted the coast, but some people were determined to ride out the hurricane.

Red Cross officials say 7,800 people were in 100 shelters across three states. They said it's still not clear how many people stayed put and would need to be rescued.

Michael made landfall Wednesday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, with at least one death reported there.

Michael left extensive damage in Panama City, with broken and uprooted trees and power lines down nearly everywhere. Roofs were peeled off and homes split open by fallen trees. Twisted street signs lay on the ground. Residents emerged early Wednesday evening to assess damage when rains stopped, though skies were still overcast and windy.
    
A pine tree punched a hole in the roof of the apartment where 29-year-old Vance Beu was staying with his mother. The roar of the storm sounded like a jet engine as the wind accelerated, and their ears popped as pressure dropped.
    
Beu said, "It was terrifying, honestly. There was a lot of noise. We thought the windows were going to break at any time. We had the inside windows kind of barricaded in with mattresses. We did whatever we could to kind of hunker down."

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