Hurricane Gustav was just short of Category 5 strength when it made landfall on mainland Cuba near Los Palacios in Pinar del Rio on Saturday.
Residents did what they could to protect their possessions from floodwater.
But the powerful storm toppled telephone poles and fruit trees, shattered windows and tore off the tin roofs of homes.
Many people returned to find their homes ruined.
The Pinar del Rio region produces much of the tobacco used to make Cuban cigars.
Even before the hurricane hit, people had to contend with the fierce rains that marked its approach.
In Havana, heavy winds and rain battered crumbling historic buildings.
Winds blasted sheets of rain sideways though the streets and whipped angry waves against Havana's famed Malecon boulevard.