In Punta Gorda, Florida, from the air the destruction is overwhelming, from the ground it is simply heartbreaking. At least 15 people are dead, but with countless still missing, one top official says he only hopes the death toll is in the dozens not the hundreds.
Gov. Jeb Bush got a firsthand look touring the devastated area Saturday.
"Our worst fears have come true. My heart goes out to people that right now are homeless and are scared, and fear is growing as the minutes tick by. It is still hard to get to the missing and the injured,” Gov. Bush said.
The local police and fire departments, so severely damaged by Charley, are out of commission, so they have to rely on crews coming in from outside the area. The destruction is so overwhelming it looks like a war zone, but only when you get a closer look you realize this actually someone's home.
Imogene Snelling, who lost everything, put all her retirement money into buying this place. Now she is has no home.
"I never though it would happen to me, but I got my life that's the main thing," said Snelling.
Amid the heartache people are trying to remain hopeful.
"Actually there is more here than I thought we would have that was from our wedding cake 15 years ago,” added Sharon Davis, who like so many here just doesn't know what to do next.
"It rough to see what you worked for all your life to go down the drain like this, but as long as were safe that's all I'm worried about,” Davis said.
Michael Brown, FEMA Director, under Homeland Security said, "You and I will go home tonight, you'll have your belongings, you'll have a place full of stuff. These people will go back to nothing.”
But for so many others there is still so much anguish for their loved ones still missing and for themselves.