Aerial photos show the devastation left in the path of Hurricane Michael

Famous for staying open during natural disasters Waffle House closes 21 restaurants

Famous for staying open during natural disasters Waffle House closes 21 restaurants

It warned of possible flash flooding in North Carolina and Virginia and said the storm was still packing winds of 50 miles per hour.

Homes completely destroyed. Refrigerators and toilets where the storm left them.

As of 11:00, Michael was centred about 60km south of Charlotte, North Carolina, with winds of 85km/h.

Thousands are still without power in the state as of Friday morning. Duke Energy reported Thursday at least 31,000 customers are without power in the Panhandle.

While many cities along the Florida Panhandle enjoy the protection of various channel, barrier and tide islands, which can help stifle the impact of storm surge on the mainland, Mexico Beach sits between Crooked Island and the St. Joseph Peninsula, directly on the water. Some supplies were brought in by trucks, while others had to be delivered by helicopter because of debris still blocking roads.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chief Brock Long said Michael was the most intense hurricane to strike the Florida Panhandle since record keeping began in 1851.

"Our biggest thing is the downed lines and the downed trees and now this water main issue", said Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson, referring to a burst water main complicating efforts to restore power.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard said it rescued at least 27 people before and after the hurricane hit, mostly from homes along the Florida coastline, and searched for more victims. She said the strong winds - possibly tornadoes - clipped the patio off her home and ripped off a tarp covering her roof. One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit her on the head.

Sarah had just started the sixth grade and joined the drama club and the band.

"How something so attractive can be turned into something so wicked and deadly is just incredible", she said.

Zahralban spoke as his team - which included a dog - was winding down its two-day search of Mexico Beach, the town of about 1,000 people that was almost wiped off the map when Michael blew ashore there Wednesday with devastating 155 miles per hour (249 kph) winds.

A man who died when a tree fell on a home near Greensboro, Florida, has been identified as Steven Scott, according to Lt. Anglie Hightower, Gadsden County Sheriff's Public Information Officer.

Another storm-related death was confirmed in neighboring Georgia.

The latest two deaths in North Carolina occurred in McDowell County when a vehicle struck a tree that had fallen across a road, officials said. "My heart goes out to these people". There's really no other way to say it. "I'm very concerned about our citizens that didn't evacuate and I just hope that, you know, we don't have much loss of life". "We're staying to protect our place".

There is no more greenery left in Mexico Beach. Despite the destruction, Rev. Luke Farabaugh and his congregation celebrated Mass on Thursday.

"What's happening is search and rescue is trying to get into the rubble to make sure that there's nobody covered up, trying to assess if there's additional casualties there", Mr. "We've not seen destruction like that in a long time".

"I can confirm 34 people are dead". "Our reward isn't just in this life but in the life to come". An unknown number of people were still missing. Neither state is fully recovered from last month's Hurricane - or well-equipped to absorb more heavy rains.

Hundreds of cars had broken windows.

In Virginia, the Roanoke River jumped its banks and flooded several nearby homes and businesses.

"I don't think it will ever be the same", said husband Danny Sinclair, 64, who is semi-retired.

"It wasn't going to get this high, realistically". Photo Courtesy of The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It was unclear how numerous others might have gotten out at the last minute. Storm surge is worse now than it was 100 years ago, thanks to the rise in sea levels.

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