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Roofs peeled away, homes split open by fallen trees: See Hurricane Michael's destruction in Florida

The most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in more than 50 years left a wide path of destruction across Florida and Georgia, destroying homes and shopping centres and felling trees that killed at least six people.

Still menacing U.S. Southeast as tropical storm, bringing heavy rains, fierce winds

Michael's top winds of 250 km/h were strong enough to completely destroy homes. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

The third-most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in recorded history left a wide path of destruction across Florida and Georgia, destroying homes and shopping centres and knocking down trees, killing at least six people.

(Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
(Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

Supercharged by abnormally warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle with terrifying winds of 250 km/h Wednesday, splintering homes and submerging neighbourhoods before continuing its march inland.

(Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

Here, boats docked in Panama City, Fla., are seen in a pile of rubble after Michael passed through the downtown area on Wednesday.

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Michael finally weakened to a tropical storm on Thursday, but was still menacing the Southeast with heavy rains, blustery winds and possible spinoff tornadoes, soaking areas swamped by epic flooding last month from Hurricane Florence.

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

There was widespread damage in Panama City, Fla., just west of where the centre of Michael's eye hit the shore.

(Dan Anderson/EPA)

Although most homes were still standing, no property was left undamaged and downed power lines lay nearly everywhere.

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Roofs were peeled away and sent airborne. Aluminum siding was shredded to ribbons. Homes were split open by fallen trees. Hundreds of cars had broken windows, many turned askew by the wind.

(Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via Associated Press)

Here, Panama City resident Amanda Logsdon begins the process of trying to clean up her home after the roof was blown off by the passing winds on Thursday.

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Michael washed away white-sand beaches, hammered military bases and destroyed coastal
communities, stripping trees to stalks, toppling trucks and pushing boats into buildings.

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

More than 900,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas were without power on Thursday.

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Waves crash on stilt houses along the shore at Alligator Point in Franklin County, Fla.

(Steve Nesius/Reuters)

A McDonald's sign damaged by Hurricane Michael is pictured in Panama City Beach.

(Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

With files from The Associated Press, Reuters