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"This is as bad as any hurricane can get," S.C. Gwynne reports from Navarre Beach, a barrier island about 20 miles east of Pensacola in the area that bore the full force of Hurricane Opal. "There are chunks of asphalt everywhere, a car 200 yards offshore, huge tower cranes twisted like toys, upside-down semi rigs just lying in the sand. Whole buildings are either destroyed and atomized into chunks no bigger than a yard across. In one case, a house had been taken up and thrown 50 yards into the air." Some residents are now returning to the remains of their homes after Opal smashed through, killing 18 people and leaving at least $2 billion in property damage. But others have been denied access, despite reports of scavenging and looting. "These people are madder than wet hens," says Gwynne. "Everybody from the army to the dog catcher is allowed to go over to the Barrier Islands, but they can't go home and see the damage first hand, and protect their property."