Mexico Beach, Florida, in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, on Oct 12, 2018.
Numerous injured in Florida were taken to Panama City, 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Mexico Beach.
Michael also disrupted energy operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico as it approached land, cutting crude oil production by more than 40 percent and natural gas output by almost a third as offshore platforms were evacuated.
"Mexico Beach is devastated", Florida Governor Rick Scott said of the town where Michael made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday.
State officials said that by one count, 285 people in Mexico Beach defied mandatory evacuation orders and stayed behind.
"We had houses that were on one side of the street and now they're on the other", he said.
Sauer along with a couple of his friends are helping to assess what people need and rounding up workers to help Floridians get back on their feet. "I have been trying to patch it up the best I can".
Michael crashed ashore near Mexico Beach on Wednesday afternoon as one of the most powerful storms in USA history, with winds of up to 155 miles per hour (250 km per hour).
Others came with nothing - as there was nothing left to save.
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Then, as Michael blew through Virginia as a tropical storm, authorities said five people there were killed, including four who drowned and a firefighter whose truck was struck by a tractor-trailer as he responded to an accident in heavy storm conditions.
Michael blew ashore near Mexico Beach on Wednesday afternoon as one of the most powerful storms in US history, with winds of up o 155 miles per hour (250 km per hour).
They've received thousands of calls asking about missing people, but with cellphone service out across a wide area, they found it impossible to know who among those unaccounted for were safe but just unable to dial out to friends or family.
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.
US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he would visit Florida and Georgia next week. "I will be visiting both Florida and Georgia early next week".
"We still haven't gotten into some of the hardest-hit areas", said Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Friday, noting that he expects to see the number of people killed climb.
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.
Numerous damaged Florida buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale.
Tyndall Air Force Base, home to the F-22 stealth fighter, suffered extensive damage, according to aerial photos of the coastal facility.