Yahoo! News Photo Staff

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

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Florida’s Panhandle took stock on Thursday of the hammering destruction wrought by Hurricane Michael, with homes obliterated or reduced to rubble and power lines and trees ripped up by the third most powerful storm ever to strike the U.S. mainland.

Michael, now weakened to a tropical storm as it doused Georgia and the Carolinas with drenching rain, crashed ashore on Wednesday near the small town of Mexico Beach carrying winds of up to 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour) and causing deep seawater flooding. The storm killed at least two people.

In Mexico Beach, CNN aerial footage showed homes closest to the beach had lost all but their foundations. A few blocks inland, about half the homes were reduced to piles of wood and siding and those still standing suffered heavy damage.

Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, called the town, which has a population of about 1,200, “ground zero” for the hurricane damage. (Reuters) _____

Related Slideshow: Devastated by Hurricane Michael, Florida starts recovery >>>

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In this aerial view, storm damaged boats are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael on October 11, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. – Residents of the Florida Panhandle woke to scenes of devastation Thursday after Michael tore a path through the coastal region as a powerful hurricane that killed at least two people. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)


In this image made from video and provided by SevereStudios.com, damage from Hurricane Michael is seen in Mexico Beach, Fla. on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. Search-and-rescue teams fanned out across the Florida Panhandle to reach trapped people in Michael’s wake Thursday as daylight yielded scenes of rows upon rows of houses smashed to pieces by the third-most powerful hurricane on record to hit the continental U.S. (Photo: SevereStudios.com via AP)


Homes swept off their foundations are shown in the aerial view Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Fla. Hurricane Michael make landfall yesterday in the Florida panhandle. (Photo: Chris O’Meara/AP)


In this aerial view, a storm damaged church is seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael on October 11, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. – Residents of the Florida Panhandle woke to scenes of devastation Thursday after Michael tore a path through the coastal region as a powerful hurricane that killed at least two people. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)


In this image made from video and provided by SevereStudios.com, damage from Hurricane Michael is seen in Mexico Beach, Fla. on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. Search-and-rescue teams fanned out across the Florida Panhandle to reach trapped people in Michael’s wake Thursday as daylight yielded scenes of rows upon rows of houses smashed to pieces by the third-most powerful hurricane on record to hit the continental U.S. (Photo: SevereStudios.com via AP)


A home is destoryed in this aerial view Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Fla. Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida panhandle. (Photo: Chris O’Meara/AP)


In this image made from video and provided by SevereStudios.com, damage from Hurricane Michael is seen in Mexico Beach, Fla. on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. Search-and-rescue teams fanned out across the Florida Panhandle to reach trapped people in Michael’s wake Thursday as daylight yielded scenes of rows upon rows of houses smashed to pieces by the third-most powerful hurricane on record to hit the continental U.S. (Photo: SevereStudios.com via AP)


A roof over a boat storage building is collapsed shown in this aerial view Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Panama City Beach, Fla. Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida panhandle. (Photo: Chris O’Meara/AP)


In this aerial view, a storm damaged motel is seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael on October 11, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. – Residents of the Florida Panhandle woke to scenes of devastation Thursday after Michael tore a path through the coastal region as a powerful hurricane that killed at least two people. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)


In this image made from video and provided by SevereStudios.com, damage from Hurricane Michael is seen in Mexico Beach, Fla. on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. Search-and-rescue teams fanned out across the Florida Panhandle to reach trapped people in Michael’s wake Thursday as daylight yielded scenes of rows upon rows of houses smashed to pieces by the third-most powerful hurricane on record to hit the continental U.S. (Photo: SevereStudios.com via AP)


Hurricane Michael debris fills a lot Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Fla. Hurricane Michael mad landfall yesterday in the Florida panhandle. (Photo: Chris O’Meara/AP)


In this image made from video and provided by SevereStudios.com, damage from Hurricane Michael is seen in Mexico Beach, Fla. on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. Search-and-rescue teams fanned out across the Florida Panhandle to reach trapped people in Michael’s wake Thursday as daylight yielded scenes of rows upon rows of houses smashed to pieces by the third-most powerful hurricane on record to hit the continental U.S. (Photo: SevereStudios.com via AP)


In this aerial view, storm damaged boats are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael on October 11, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. – Residents of the Florida Panhandle woke to scenes of devastation Thursday after Michael tore a path through the coastal region as a powerful hurricane that killed at least two people. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)


In this image made from video and provided by SevereStudios.com, damage from Hurricane Michael is seen in Mexico Beach, Fla. on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. Search-and-rescue teams fanned out across the Florida Panhandle to reach trapped people in Michael’s wake Thursday as daylight yielded scenes of rows upon rows of houses smashed to pieces by the third-most powerful hurricane on record to hit the continental U.S. (Photo: SevereStudios.com via AP)


In this image released by the US Coast Guard (USCG), Coast Guard crew members aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane fly over damaged homes near Apalachicola, Florida, on October 11, 2018, in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. – Residents of the Florida Panhandle woke to scenes of devastation Thursday after Michael tore a path through the coastal region as a powerful hurricane that killed at least two people. (Photo by Ashley J. Johnson/AFP/Getty Images)