The National Guard rescued 20 survivors on Wednesday night in Mexico Beach, the Associated Press reported.
Numerous damaged Florida buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale.
He spoke Friday as his team was winding down its two-day search of Mexico Beach, the town of about 1,000 people that was almost obliterated by Micahel's storm surge and devastating 155 miles per hour (249 kph) winds when the Category 4 hurricane made landfall Wednesday.
Southern Co's Gulf Power unit said it could take weeks to restore power in the hardest hit parts of Florida like the Panama City area.
After devastating coastal communities in the Florida Panhandle, the remnants of the storm, now downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, killed five people as it passed through the U.S. state of Virginia.
Aerial footage shows coastal cities in the Panhandle, like Mexico Beach, wiped out, CNN said.
Three deaths were reported in Marianna, in Jackson County, Florida, Sheriff Lou Roberts told a news conference on Friday afternoon. Michael's powerful winds and surging seas knocked row after row of Mexico Beach beachfront homes from their foundations.
U.S. army personnel used heavy equipment to push a path through debris in Mexico Beach to allow rescuers through to search for trapped residents, survivors or casualties, as Blackhawk helicopters circled overhead.
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More than 1,700 search and rescue workers have been deployed, Governor Rick Scott's office said in a statement, including seven swift-water rescue teams and almost 300 ambulances.
The storm, one of the most powerful hurricanes in USA history, continued to cut a destructive path as a tropical storm, having weakened after lashing Georgia and North Carolina.
Except for the emergency 911 system, authorities in Bay County, the epicentre of the disaster, were virtually without telephone or internet service until late on Friday, making communications internally and with the public hard. "We're doing what we can with the minimal media that we have".
Rescue teams were using sniffer dogs in a search for victims.. Search and rescue teams were still trying to account for those people.
About 1.5 million homes and businesses were without power from Florida to Virginia on Friday, according to utility companies. It looked a couple of days ago like it was not going to be much, and now it's looking like it could be a very big one, so we're prepared.
By early Friday morning, the fast-moving storm was about 65 miles (105km) north-east of Norfolk, Virginia, with top sustained winds of 60mph (95kph), the US National Hurricane Center said. The five deaths in Virginia came as the state dealt with 520,000 power outages, 1,200 closed roads and five suspected tornadoes, said the Virginia Deptartment of Emergency Management in a tweet.
"It was the flawless beach town".
"I was going to stay here until it turned to a Cat 4", he said. "People will just pack up and leave".