These Photos Show The Catastrophic Wind Damage From Hurricane Michael

David Lohr

Hurricane Michael brought destruction to northern Florida this week, toppling trees and powerlines, blowing apart homes and businesses, and submerging neighborhoods.

The Category 4 storm ― the third-most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland since records have been kept ― emerged from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday afternoon.

Michael churned across the Florida Panhandle with 155 mph winds, causing a 10-foot storm surge to spill from the ocean basin. An estimated 780,000 homes and businesses were without power Thursday.

Only two storms have been stronger than Michael was at its peak, according to The Associated Press: an unnamed Labor Day storm that struck the U.S. mainland in 1935 and Hurricane Camille in 1969.

Authorities said the hurricane caused millions of dollars and damages and claimed at least two lives before it barreled into southern Georgia as a Category 3 hurricane. It had weakened to a Category 1 by the time it reached the central part of the state, and was downgraded to a tropical storm as it continued to threaten the Southeast on Thursday. 

See the destruction the storm brought to coastal communities in Florida:

 

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Rescue personnel perform a search in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach.

 

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

An American flag flies amidst destruction in Mexico Beach.

 

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Rescue personnel search amidst debris in Mexico Beach.

 

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Mishelle McPherson climbs over the rubble of her friend's home. McPherson is searching for her friend because she knows she stayed in the home during Hurricane Michael.

 

(Joe Raedle via Getty Images)

Kathy Coy stands among what is left of her home in Panama City after Hurricane Michael destroyed it. She said she was in the home when it was blown apart and is thankful to be alive.

 

(Joe Raedle via Getty Images)

Amanda Logsdon begins the process of trying to clean up her home in Panama City after the roof was blown off.

 

(Joe Raedle via Getty Images)

People walk past a home destroyed in Panama City. 

 

(The Washington Post via Getty Images)

A warehouse of boats is seen damaged at Treasure Island Marina in Panama City. 

 

(Joe Raedle via Getty Images)

Comeasha Stanley, Ramari Stanley and Terrell Atkinson stand near a heavily damaged apartment in Panama City. 

 

(Jonathan Bachman / Reuters)

A restaurant fixture known as "Big Gus" was damaged in Panama City Beach.

 

(Jonathan Bachman / Reuters)

A McDonald's sign damaged in Panama City Beach.

 

(The Washington Post via Getty Images)

A Booze Express was damaged after the hurricane made landfall along the Florida Panhandle.

 

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Derailed boxcars in Panama City.

 

(Joe Raedle via Getty Images)

Debris is strewn next to a mobile home destroyed by Hurricane Michael.

 

(Joe Raedle via Getty Images)

An American flag flies from a broken flag pole after Hurricane Michael passed through the downtown area of Panama City.

 

(The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Damaged homes in Panama City Beach.

 

(Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A resident looks at belongings scattered on a floor at a damaged home in Panama City.

 

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

People cut away a tree on a vehicle in Panama City.

 

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Dorian Carter looks under furniture for a missing cat after several trees fell on their home in Panama City.

 

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Carol Ralph walks through downed trees blocking her heavily damaged neighborhood just after the hurricane passed through Panama City.

 

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Haley Nelson inspects damages to her family properties in Panama City.

 

(Jonathan Bachman / Reuters)

Buildings damaged in Panama City,

 

(Jonathan Bachman / Reuters)

A house damaged in Panama City.

 

(Jonathan Bachman / Reuters)

Buildings damaged in Panama City.

 

(Jonathan Bachman / Reuters)

Buildings damaged in Panama City.

 

(Jonathan Bachman / Reuters)

Buildings damaged in Panama City.

Send David Lohr an email or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.