Hurricane Michael’s ground zero, Mexico Beach, was “obliterated” by the storm when it made landfall Wednesday, according to devastating Thursday morning footage from CNN. CNN correspondent Brooke Baldwin, who reported from a helicopter flying above the beach, told viewers that “It’s obliterated. It’s awful to look at. As we watch the deterioration across the coastline, I mean, it was bad in Panama City Beach, but I’ve never seen anything like this.” Trees, homes, and warehouses were “flattened,” she added, later noting that “I have no words for what I’m looking at.” Michael’s winds—just a few miles per hour short of a Category 5—were so powerful that a train was pulled completely off its tracks, according to a Wednesday report from WESH2. The storm has also claimed at least five lives, including that of a child who died when something fell onto the home he was visiting. The storm has since downgraded significantly, but search and rescue crews are still working to understand the full scope of Michael’s devastation.
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