Death toll rises as devastation from Hurricane Michael mounts

The power of the Category 4 storm was evident in dramatic footage that showed demolished homes and submerged neighborhoods in the Florida Panhandle.
4:26 | 10/12/18

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Transcript for Death toll rises as devastation from Hurricane Michael mounts
There is so much devastation out there still from hurricane Michael. We are tracking it all and it's now coming into clearer view. Take a look at this scene there. That's from the air, homes completely destroyed in Mexico beach, Florida, where ginger was when the hurricane made landfall. It was wiped out. The FEMA director is calling this spot the storm's ground zero. And take a look at these satellite images showing what was before the hurricane and then after. The tyndall air force base facing catastrophic damage. An f-15 flipped over. Buildings destroyed. It knocked out power for more than 1.6 million customers. The red cross says 8,000 people are in shelters and ginger is starting us off from Santa Rosa beach, Florida. Conditions so bad Thursday we couldn't even talk live with you. Yeah, that's how isolating it was feeling there in Mexico beach and for a lot of people along the panhandle, you know, we're in Santa Rosa because it's the first place we could find that was safe to sleep. We hiked out of Mexico beach, a crew brought us here where we had a damaged hotel but then we were in there an hour and evacuated us out. It hits home how unimaginable it was and how uninhabitable it is. Help is coming by air, land and sea. Reporter: This morning the priority is saving lives. We are deploying a massive wave of response and those efforts are already under way. Reporter: Crews combing through the debris left behind by Michael. Blocks of hopes obliterated. Streets littered with smashed cars. This woman rescued from Panama City airlifted to safety. And on the ground we started our journey out. Search and rescue. This is where we rode out the storm. The cement, the pylons did very well. Debris still filling the streets. We're going to make the hike out because there's no other way. One of the few buildings still standing 24 hours later the yellow condo complex where we rode out hurricane Michael. Just it was making landfall we reported on a balcony. I'm going to stand inside the door. The flying debris and violent wind driving us inside and then that moment we'll never forget. I just saw something I have never seen. Entire home taken off its foundation and rolled down the street. Again, I've never seen like an entire home, a well built home rolling down the street. We just watched that happen in realtime. And I'll tell you right now it makes you shake. The reality setting in. The morning after and the smell of destruction is thick. It's very eerie. As soon as it was safe we set out on foot to see what's left. The highway covered in sand and debris. And in this wasteland we meet a husband and wife covered in scrapes and bruises. They were in their home when the water rushed in. You swam out. Yes. Out of your home. Yes. To a boat. Yes. And that's how you survived. Yes. All three of you. Yes. It just gave me chills. They say life jackets kept them alive. The wind is going 120 miles an hour. We let the current take us to the next stop and then we'd grab on to a tree and hang on. Reporter: They asked us to try to get word out to their mother they're okay. Finally we got a signal. So many people desperate for news then we hear from Jenny Caputo who says she watched our report and is the owner of that blue house now gone. Hello, this is Jenny. We reach her by phone in Atlanta. Reporter: I can't imagine if it were my home. I'm heartbroken. We only had the house five months. We've been coming to Mexico beach for over ten years. Wow. We just love it. We finally bought a place there that we were going to enjoy with our young family now. We'll be back. We will rebuild and we'll come back and we have lots of -- there are just good people there. Reporter: We met about a dozen people on our way out O there and as soon as I had service I was able to call their loved ones and let them know they were okay. It was such an emotional day. If you have a question about a loved one, Facebook has their safety check activated and, of course, the American red cross has their well and safe list but it will take a very long time for those lists to populate because it's impossible to communicate at this point.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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