Hurricane Michael Leaves Trail Of Devastation In Florida

Hurricane Michael's Winds Reach 150 mph, First Ever Extreme Wind Warning Issued for Region |

Michael Upgraded To Category 4 'Major' Hurricane As It Approaches Florida Panhandle

Morning light Thursday offered a fresh look at the devastation that Hurricane Michael brought to Florida's Panhandle, where hundreds of thousands of people lost power and communities were devastated by the storm's intense winds and coastal floods.

The storm, which originated in the Gulf of Mexico and quickly grew to have 155 miles per hour winds when it came ashore near Mexico Beach, Florida, toppled buildings, flooded neighborhoods, took down trees and power lines and left 700,000 homes without power in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.

Michael grew from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane in about 40 hours.

"Michael made landfall on Wednesday around 2 pm near Mexico Beach, Florida, dashing homes into pieces, swallowing marinas and leaving piles of rubble where shopping centres once stood", CNN said. But it's still menacing the Southeast with heavy rains, winds and a threat of spinoff tornadoes.

A ferocious and historic Hurricane Michael is heading toward the Carolinas after tearing through Florida and Georgia, demolishing homes, submerging entire neighborhoods and killing at least two people, including an 11-year-old girl.

"Water will come miles in shore and could easily rise over the roofs of houses", he said.

There have only been a half-dozen storms that struck the United States with lower barometric pressure, the most recent being Katrina, Andrew and Camille - and all six "were devastating storms", Klotzbach said.

325,000: Estimated number of people in the storm's path who were told to evacuate by local authorities.

The National Hurricane Center says the core of Michael will move across eastern Georgia into Central South Carolina on Thursday morning.

They said it's still not clear how many people stayed put and would need to be rescued.

A Panhandle man was killed by a tree toppling on a home, Gadsden County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Anglie Hightower said.

Olivia Smith, public information officer for the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners, said there was "one hurricane-related fatality", adding that the incident was "debris-related".

Smith could not provide details on the victim.

General Terrence O Shaughnessy, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command, said some Florida residents may have been surprised by the rapid growth of the storm.

"I know you just want to go home".

About 2,500 National Guard troops were deployed to assist with evacuations and storm preparations, and more than 4,000 others were on standby.

As the Category 4 storm's center crossed nearby, Mulligan said, her concrete complex shook and vibrated against sustained winds of around 155 miles per hour.

The Hurricane has also left pets stranded throughout the town because many people were unable to take them when they evacuated.

Michael is the first major hurricane to blow into the state since the 1898.

Asked why her family didn't leave, she said she thought they were safe on the fourth floor of a concrete building.

Hurricane Michael's assault on the Florida Panhandle left nothing more than empty foundations and heaps of rubble in some parts of the small towns it crashed into with near-record force.

Whatever the changes wrought by climate change turn out to be, Dessler said, "Bad things are going to happen".

Trump issued an emergency declaration for Florida, freeing up federal funds for relief operations and providing the assistance of FEMA, which has more than 3,000 people on the ground.

Over 900,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas were without power.

The hurricane then roared north through southwest Georgia and was on Thursday setting its sights on North and SC, states that are still reeling from historic flooding left by Hurricane Florence last month. A huge swath of Interstate 10, the main east-west route near the coast, is blocked off due to damage.

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