Hurricane Michael: Aerial Photos Show Unimaginable Devastation in Mexico Beach on Florida Coast

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Homes in Mexico Beach, Florida, destroyed by Hurricane Michael are seen from the air. Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images
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An aerial view shows debris strewn over streets after Hurricane Michael hit Mexico Beach, Florida. Duke Energy/Reuters

These aerial photos show unimaginable devastation after Hurricane Michael—one of the most powerful storms in U.S. history—slammed into the Florida Panhandle, killing at least seven people. 

Evidence of the storm's violence is visible in shattered Florida coastal towns, where rows of homes were ripped from foundations and roofs were torn off schools by the near-record-force storm.

Michael smashed into Florida's northwest coast near the small town of Mexico Beach on Wednesday with winds of 155 mph, pushing a wall of seawater inland.

The storm tore entire neighborhoods apart, reducing homes and businesses to piles of wood and siding, damaging roads and leaving scenes of devastation that resembled the aftermath of a carpet-bombing operation.

U.S. Army personnel have been using heavy equipment to push a path through debris in Mexico Beach, allowing rescuers through to search for trapped residents, survivors or casualties, as Blackhawk helicopters circled overhead. Rescuers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) used dogs, drones and GPS in the search.

With a low barometric pressure recorded at 919 millibars, a measure of a hurricane's force, Michael was the third strongest storm on record to hit the continental U.S., behind only Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969 and the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys.

Michael weakened overnight to a tropical storm but marched northeast, toppling trees with 50 mph winds and bringing "life-threatening" flash flooding to Georgia and Virginia, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported.

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A capsized boat is seen during a U.S. Coast Guard aerial assessment of coastal areas affected by Hurricane Michael near Apalachicola, Florida. U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashley J. Johnson/Reuters
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An aerial view of a storm-damaged church in Panama City, Florida. Brendan Smialowski/AFP
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A man works though the remains of an apartment in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Florida. Brendan Smialowski/AFP
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Homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael are seen from the air over Mexico Beach, Florida. Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images
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A boat storage building is exposed to the elements after its roof collapsed when Hurricane Michael slammed into Panama City Beach, Florida. Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images
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Storm-damaged boats are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Florida. Brendan Smialowski/AFP
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A boat destroyed by Hurricane Michael is seen in this aerial photo of Mexico Beach, Florida. Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images
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Homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael are seen from the air over Mexico Beach, Florida. Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images
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Homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael are seen from the air over Mexico Beach, Florida. Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images
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An aerial photo of a home that was destroyed when Hurricane Michael slammed into Mexico Beach, Florida. Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images
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Aerial photo shows homes and businesses destroyed after Hurricane Michael smashed into Mexico Beach, on Florida's northwest coast. Courtesy James E. Wyatt/U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Reuters
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