Escondido man drives cross-country for Hurricane Michael relief effort

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- An Escondido man loaded up a trailer full of supplies and traveled across the country to help those in need after Hurricane Michael slammed the Florida Panhandle.

Robert Butler had a friend in the area who needed help so he headed to Mexico Beach, one of the areas hit hardest by the hurricane.

The devastation that met him there was beyond words. "It's just amazing. There's really no words for it," he told FOX 5 from Florida on Saturday. "You can't really point to one thing ... because as soon as you turn around there's another one and another one. All the trees look the same -- they're broken. All the houses look the same -- they're either destroyed or ripped down."

For more about Butler's efforts, visit the Tow Boat US Facebook page.

At least 36 people have been confirmed dead as a result of Hurricane Michael, according to authorities.

The number rose Saturday after a local medical examiner confirmed the death of a woman in Bay County, Florida, bringing the death toll in Florida alone to 26.

Authorities did not offer additional details on the death.

Officials in four states -- Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia -- have each confirmed people died as a result of the storm.

The latest death toll comes 20 days after Michael ravaged the Florida Panhandle and wrought havoc in a slew of Southern states that were battered by powerful winds and inundated with floodwater.