MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — While most residents of Mexico Beach, Florida, fled ahead of Hurricane Michael’s arrival, others stayed to face the hurricane.
They barely escaped as homes were smashed from their foundations, neighborhoods got submerged, and broken boards, sheet metal and other debris flew through the air.
On Friday, some walked amid the destruction searching for loved ones and telling harrowing tales of how they survived.
Tom Garcia fought to keep the sliding doors of his beachfront home closed as the storm surge rose chest-high inside the home.
He and his wife survived but they have not found his daughter and mother, who were staying at a beachfront apartment when the storm came ashore.
Garcia called it a “life or death” ordeal.