Nearly a week after Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle, leaving it in ruins, authorities Tuesday reported 12 people were found dead in Bay County, taking the total death toll to 27. The death toll included 17 in Florida, six in Virginia, three in North Carolina and one in Georgia.

Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said 12 hurricane-related deaths were confirmed in the city. He, however, added the number was fewer than expected as nearly 300 people had told authorities they weren’t planning to evacuate.

Matthew Marchetti, co-founder of Houston-based CrowdSource Rescue, said the death toll was expected to rise as phone service was restored and roads were cleared.

“For every one person we have made contact with, there are probably three we haven’t,” he said, adding volunteers were searching for more 1,135 people in Florida, Reuters reported.

At least two fatalities were reported Tuesday in the small beach town of Mexico Beach, which was nearly destroyed by the hurricane Oct. 10. The residents, property owners and insurance adjusters will be allowed into the city Wednesday and the people were expected to provide a Mexico Beach Drivers License, a utility bill from Mexico Beach or a lease agreement before entering the city.

Rex Putnal, a Mexico Beach city councilor, said Tuesday the number of missing people dropped to three from 30. He also said it was miraculous that a town of 1,200 residents had only two fatalities.

USA Today reported nearly 16,000 single residences have been damaged and more than 4,000 have been destroyed in Florida counties overall.

The hurricane also destroyed the Mexico Beach Police Department.

"We don't have a building — from my understanding, the water surge moved it off its foundation. The officers, I finally made accountability of them all today, two days after the fact. ... They're not just my officers, the people that I work with, they're my family,” Police Chief Anthony Kelly told ABC News.

Officials said a total of 190,000 homes and businesses remained without power in the U.S. Southeast and it could be weeks before power returns to some.

Florida Gov. Rick Scot’s office said the government was distributing ice, water and about 3 million ready-to-eat meals.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency stated 16,000 federal employees, including over 8,000 military personnel, were helping with response efforts and about 1,200 people were in shelters.

President Donald Trump surveyed the hurricane-torn areas of Florida and Georgia on Monday and declared “nobody has seen anything like this.”

“Many of these people have no—they have no homes,” he said. Trump also praised Scott by saying he "steps up in the biggest emergencies, the biggest problems, and he gets it done."

michael A man walks through a beachfront neighborhood that was decimated by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida, Oct. 16, 2018. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images