WATCH: Hurricane Michael rips roofs off buildings as it strikes Florida

Transcript for Hurricane Michael rips roofs off buildings as it strikes Florida

so many families here endured this awful hurricane today. A punishing scene that we witnessed and one those families will never forget. This is the hotel where we were reporting from all day today, and where so many of those families sought shelter. I want to show you what’s left of it tonight. Take a look over my shoulder. You can see a huge part of the roof came crashing down during the hurricane right in front of our eyes and in front of so many of those families. Hurricane Michael is the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. Since 1969. Slamming ashore just before 1:00 this afternoon, winds of 155 miles an hour. It was massive, and just shy of a category 5 hurricane. The stunk images of those powerful winds and rain. The palm trees barely able to stand against them. So many trues tonight, really everywhere you look, have been pulled from the ground. The winds ripping away rooftops. This home in Panama City beach torn apart. And tonight, a portrait just beginning to emerge. The scope of the devastation, the flooding, the homes here in splitters. And right here tonight, you’re about to see the moment that this roof here behind me came down in front of us and in front of all of those families. The recovery here will be staggering. This is hurricane Michael barreling ashore. In Panama City beach, the winds ripping the roof right off this building. And this one, too. The roof lifting up and tearing off, slamming to the ground. This region had never endured a category 4 hurricane before. We were on the air right as the outer eye wall approached us. This hurricane is about to make landfall again not far from where we are right now. I want to show you behind me some damage that it’s already done. You can see the trees here. One of the them has already come behind us. The winds, 155 miles per hour as the hurricane made landfall. Tonight, the stunning scope of the waves crashing ashore at St. Andrew’s bay. The national weather service buoy, recording waves higher than 30 feet before landfall, before that buoy simply stopped working. Power lines down. Transformers bursting behind us. Whoa, whoa. We’re getting — did you see that? Tonight, hundreds of thousands are without power. Our team positioned between concrete walls at this Panama City hotel. We could see SUVs outside rocking and beginning to lift. We are seeing the brunt of the most dangerous part of the storm beginning to move in. Trees are coming down in front of us. Power lines have come down. And I just want you to hear what it sounds like standing out here, just the sheer force of it. Listen to this. Across this region, the water rising, taking over streets. Submerging these homes to their rooftops. Flooding local stores. This gas station roof coming apart. It’s coming off again. Reporter: And during all of this, the families huddled inside the hotels who were told to seek shelter. And now, they were enduring this. To give you an idea, the fire alarm is now going off in the building. I’m not sure if you can hear. I’m not sure if you can hear that. But you can see all the families who are gathered here. These are families who heeded the warning to leave their homes, come to this hotel and to ride out this hurricane. Many of those families moving further inside, away from the entrance. Just before part of the hotel roof collapses right in front of us all. It’s going to go. It’s going to go. You can see the roof of the hotel. That we had been standing out there. That was the shelter for a category 4 hurricane. That has now come down on those SUVs. Then, the windows shatter. And this is the view tonight from the highest floor of our hotel. You can actually see just the stunning amount of damage. I mean, it’s almost apocalyptic. Those are the roads. The streets surrounding the hotel, completely covered in water. The size and scope of Michael’s damage is just now being realized tonight. The toll stallering. Just shy of a category 5 hurricane. The boardwalk leading to the beach twisted. This woman seeing her car for the first time. Debris had pierced her windshield. And we go to check on the families. Are you okay? Everyone’s okay? Yes, we are. Inside this room, a mother and her three children. Tiffany crednshaw telling me one of her daughters has autism, and that the anxiety from this hurricane has left a mark. And tonight, their room is under water. Didn’t expect to have a flooded hotel room. No, no. This is a couple of inches of water. Yeah, we weren’t expecting it to get this bad that fast. And up on the third floor, our room, the windows blown. As you look outside, you see, tonight, the streets have disappeared. Those are the streets and the third floor of the hotel. The window blew in. And you can see that the streets are completely flooded. The recovery effort will be overwhelming.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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