CNN journalist Brooke Baldwin was left aghast at what little was left of Mexico Beach, Florida, as she viewed from a helicopter the devastation of the Florida Panhandle from Hurricane Michael, the third-most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in recorded history.
“It’s gone... It’s obliterated,” Baldwin said of the community a camera panned over the devastation. “It’s awful to look at it... I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Hurricane Michael destroyed homes and businesses across Florida and Georgia after making landfall near Mexico Beach at near Category 5 strength on Wednesday afternoon. The New York Times reported that it was downgraded to a tropical storm around midnight, “once it had raced through the Panhandle and southwest Georgia as a hurricane.”
As of Thursday, much of the Southeast U.S. was still being hammered by “heavy rains, blustery winds and possible spinoff tornadoes, soaking areas swamped by epic flooding last month from Hurricane Florence,” according to The AP.
Baldwin also flew over a marina warehouse full of boats that was completely destroyed by the force of the storm’s wind; she called it “unreal” to look at.
Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee and Floria’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, termed the destruction “severe.”
“I fear based of the images we’re seeing, the damage is just so severe that this is going to be a long recovery process,” Gillum told CNN.