The remnants of Hurricane Michael - the most powerful storm on record to strike Florida's Panhandle - swept through Georgia on Thursday on a path toward the Carolinas after leaving widespread destruction and at least two deaths in its wake.
"It's like our lives are gone, everything we have is gone now", he said.
Six people are reported to have died since the category four storm hit Florida early on Thursday, but this number is expected to rise as rescue efforts continue.
The Florida governor and U.S. Senate candidate commended the federal response to his state, saying FEMA Administrator Brock Long and President Trump have both reiterated their commitment to providing any aid necessary. "So many families have lost everything", he said.
More than 900,000 homes and businesses are still without power in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas.
When it made landfall Wednesday in the Florida Panhandle, Michael was packing 155 miles per hour winds, 2 miles per hour shy of a Category 5 storm.
Florida Governor Rick Scott told the Weather Channel the damage from Panama City down to Mexico Beach was "way worse than anybody ever anticipated". "We'll get to recovery, but right now I want everybody to be safe". Others were missing roofs or walls.
Bu the full extent of the damage was only slowly becoming clear, with some of the worst areas hard to reach.
Michael, which decreased to a tropical storm overnight, is continuing to weaken as it moves along the southeast USA coast.
Along the 321-kilometre Panhandle, Michael washed away white-sand beaches, hammered military bases and destroyed coastal communities, stripping trees to stalks, shredding roofs, toppling trucks and pushing boats into buildings.
Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson said: "There are so many downed power lines and trees that it's nearly impossible to get through the city". Aluminum siding was shredded to ribbons. Hundreds of cars had broken windows, many turned askew by the wind. Both were killed when trees crashed onto their homes.
One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit her in the head.
A pine tree broke a hole in their roof and his ears popped when the barometric pressure plummeted.
More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were ordered or urged to evacuate as Michael closed in, but it moved so fast that people did not have much time to prepare.
Michael, the third-most powerful hurricane ever to hit the United States mainland, weakened overnight to a tropical storm and pushed north-east, bringing drenching rains to Georgia and the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.