Although the full extent of the damage is not yet clear, one thing is certain: Hurricane Michael has been confirmed as the third-most powerful hurricane on record to hit the continental United States.
At least two deaths have been blamed on the storm. Search and rescue teams are still working in areas across the Florida Panhandle to reach people who are trapped.
Florida families are starting to emerge tentatively from darkened shelters and hotels to an unfamiliar and perilous landscape of shattered homes and shopping centers, beeping security alarms, wailing sirens and hovering helicopters, the Associated Press reported midday Thursday.
More than 900,000 homes and business remain without power. An 80-mile stretch of Interstate 10, the main east-west route along the Panhandle, is still closed because of debris.
Below are 15 images that personify the aftermath of the Category 4 storm, which blew ashore along the Panhandle packing 155 mph winds.