Dozens of people unaccounted for after Hurricane Michael

Cadaver dogs continue to search flattened homes in Mexico Beach, Florida for missing people.
3:24 | 10/14/18

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Transcript for Dozens of people unaccounted for after Hurricane Michael
crisis in the wake of hurricane Michael, and the stunning damage from those 155-mile-per-hour winds. Long lines for supplies in Panama City, with no power, no water, and barely any phone service. K9 units searching the wreckage of homes in Mexico beach. More than 40 people still unaccounted for. Families struggling to stay in touch. One family sending a giant help message with timber. Some 700,000 customers without power in five states. And it will be days or weeks before the lights are back on. Rob Marciano in the storm zone. He's in Calloway, Florida, tonight. Reporter: Tonight, parts of the Florida panhandle being likened to a war zone. Four days after hurricane Michael carved a path of destruction across the region, the search for the dozens of unaccounted for continues. One family learning the fate of their relatives when looking online at an interactive map, finding this. The word "Help" spelled out with timber. I contacted emergency services and they went out to do a welfare check. Reporter: Finding frustrated residents is as easy as finding destruction. It's been very traumatic. I can't hardly eat, and I can't hardly sleep. Reporter: This man rode out the storm inside his home, now struggling to clean up and salvage what he can. Refusing to leave at night. Where were you hanging out inside the house when these were coming down? Mostly the front porch. Reporter: Michael left thousands homeless. This line of cars outside a FEMA distribution point. Where soldiers aregiving out cases of water and other supplies. Some people are smiling, some are crying that they're getting some help. Reporter: But much of the aid delivered in places like these, local churches. The problem -- basic communication. Text alerts letting people know where they can find food and water. But many are without cell service or power to charge their phones. In Mexico beach, where Michael's winds were most ferocious, some homeowners were returning to survey the damage and salvage what they can. As search and rescue teams look for signs of life. Our will Carr is there. With dozens still unaccounted for in Mexico beach, search and rescue crews have pushed into this marshland. Looking at boats and cars. Once they clear those, they smack those green stickers on them as they continue to look for the people who are missing. Reporter: Officials hopeful that number will go down as they find out where people went and are able to get in contact with loved ones. Today, FEMA's director touring the devastation. 19,000 people registering for federal assistance. FEMA telling residents to only return when they are told it's safe and to expect extended power outages. We see the destruction where you are, rob. I know you have an update about the power grid, and the death toll for Michael rising Hoyer? Reporter: It's now at 18. As for the power situation, we talked to a representative today who said they expect to have 95% of their customers back online in just ten days. The issue is, a lot of homeowners will have to make repairs to their homes to accept the power once the lines are back up. Nothing is or will be simple down here.

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

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