‘It was life or death’: Face-to-face with Michael’s fury

MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Some residents of a Gulf Coast beach community devastated by Hurricane Michael are telling harrowing tales of how they faced the storm and barely escaped.

Mexico Beach, Florida, is where the storm roared ashore Wednesday, smashing homes from their foundations, submerging residential streets and sending debris flying through the air.

Tom Garcia fought to keep the sliding doors of his beachfront home closed as the storm surge rose chest-high inside the house.

Hector Morales fled his floating mobile home and took shelter with two neighbors in a fishing boat tied to a palm tree.

An 86-year-old named Bill Shockey watched with his cat from a second-floor bedroom of his daughter’s house as water reached almost to the roofline of his own single-story home next door.

Garcia called it a “life or death” ordeal.

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