Florida town almost wiped off the map by Hurricane Michael

Weakening Hurricane Michael Swirls Over North Carolina in Satellite Images

Search teams used dogs for people killed or trapped in debris, including in hardest-hit Mexico Beach.

Emergency personnel scoured areas where entire blocks of homes and buildings were flattened, searching for survivors.

More than 1,700 search and rescue workers have been deployed, Governor Rick Scott's office said in a statement, including seven swift-water rescue teams and almost 300 ambulances.

De Blasio said he told his team to get in touch with Gillum's campaign when he won the August 28 primary, so his visit was planned before Hurricane Michael altered the campaign trail.

Nearby Panama City Beach experienced similar damage along with other communities along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

In nearby Panama City, Fla., few homes were destroyed but almost all were damaged.

Michael made landfall on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 storm, the most powerful to hit Florida's northwestern Panhandle in more than a century.

Search and rescue teams combed through shattered U.S. communities on Thursday looking for victims of Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 monster storm which carved out a swathe of destruction in the Florida Panhandle, killing at least six in three states.

"Everything is time-consuming", said Capt. Ignatius Carroll, of the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue task force.

"It's OK if you want to live on the coast or on top of a mountain that sees wildfires or whatever, but you have to build to a higher standard", he said. "But I have reasons to believe - we haven't gotten into some of the hardest hit areas, particularly the Mexico Beach area".

"I want you to get back in your vehicle and stop!" one woman shouted at a man accosting her as she tried to squeeze her auto between two idling vehicles at a Panama City service station running two fuel pumps on a generator.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has called up 4,000 members of the state's national guard to deal with the deadly storm, adding 500 more on Saturday, and almost 2,000 law-enforcement officials have been sent into the Panhandle.

The number of people in emergency shelters was expected to swell to 20,000 across five states by Friday, said Brad Kieserman of the American Red Cross. Several trees came down on their property, including one that smashed through the roof. "Our lives are gone here".

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Michael was one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever make landfall in the U.S. While most residents fled ahead of the storm's arrival, others stayed to face the hurricane.

Shell-shocked survivors who barely escaped with their lives told of terrifying winds, surging floodwaters and homes cracking apart.

Hector Morales, a 57-year-old restaurant cook, never even thought of evacuating.

"It's total devastation - no power, no water, no communication", she said. "But I made it". Others were missing roofs or walls.

Despite a mandatory evacuation order, officials said 285 out of roughly 1,200 Mexico Beach residents opted not to leave.

FEMA's Long urged communities such as Mexico Beach, where many homes were obliterated by 12 to 14 feet (3.7 to 4.3 meters) of storm surge, to rebuild to withstand future storms.

"I'm the idiot that rode it out here in this place", said Blackwell, 65, sweat dripping from his face.

But with mobile phone service out across vast swathes of the Florida Panhandle, officials said it was possible that some of those unaccounted for are safe and just have not been able to contact friends or family to let them know.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long had expected the death toll to rise from 13 people on Friday, mostly from trees falling onto houses.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said two people - a man and a woman - were killed in McDowell County when their vehicle hit a large tree that had fallen on the road.

By Friday, authorities had begun setting up distribution centers to dole out food and water to victims, who just were coming to grips with the brutal realities of their situation. They've also set up a triage tent to treat residents stepping on nails and cutting themselves on debris.

Elsewhere, Donald Trump announced plans to visit Florida and Georgia early next week.

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