Hurricane Michael, which tore into Florida on Wednesday, went in just two days from tropical storm status to a Category 4 hurricane, on a scale with a maximum of five. The monster hurricane was the most powerful ever recorded to hit the Panhandle and was on par with Hurricanes Irma, which swept across Florida in September 2017, and Andrew, which devastated Homestead in 1992.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Thursday that the eye of Michael was about 90 miles northeast of Macon, Ga., and about 45 miles west of Augusta.
Other buildings were stripped of their walls and roofs or ripped apart by downed trees and power lines.
Roads were filled with piles of floating debris. WMAZ-TV quotes Brooks as saying a tree fell onto a home Wednesday afternoon and killed an 11-year-old girl.
One storm-related death has been confirmed. Smith said to The Washington Post. Twisted street signs lay on the ground.
Based on its internal barometric pressure, Michael was the third most powerful hurricane to hit the USA mainland, behind the unnamed Labor Day storm of 1935 and Camille in 1969.
U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for all of Florida, freeing federal assistance to supplement state and local disaster responses.
"Those who stick around to experience storm surge don't typically live to tell about it unfortunately", said FEMA's Long. More than 40,000 people lost power across the state.
Scott earlier had expressed frustration about people resisting evacuation orders, but there were no immediate reports of fatalities amid reports of significant damages throughout the region.
"This is, unfortunately, a historical and incredibly risky and life-threatening situation", said Ken Graham, director of the Miami-based NHC.
"Northwest Florida has never encountered a storm of this magnitude", Rogers said in a release.
Waves crash along a pier from hurricane Michael, Oct. 10, 2018, in Panama City Beach, Fla.
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"We haven't seen her since the tree hit the den".
An official with an emergency management agency said Tropical Storm Michael is responsible for a child's death in Georgia.
"Hurricane Michael is a deadly Category 4 storm".
Last Thursday, forecasters were saying that what was then called Tropical Storm Michael "does not pose a threat to land". Its 249 kph (155 mph) winds blew sheets of rain sideways.
As it came ashore, Michael was just shy of a Category 5 - defined as a storm packing wind speeds of 157 miles per hour or above.
More than 17,000 people tuned into the broadcast, including Sen.
The storm made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, at around 2 p.m. ET. "This happened so quickly", he said.
Images captured by Associated Press journalists show how Florida residents took shelter while waters were rising ahead of Michael's landfall.
This doesn't necessarily change the forecast for our area, as we dodge areas of rain through Thursday with localized flooding possible and gusty winds at times through Friday morning. The Carolinas are still recovering from Hurricane Florence less than a month ago. Isolated areas could get 12 inches and life-threatening flash floods.
Past year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Harvey, which caused a record-equaling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.
In terms of damage the most costly year was 2017, when besides the Caribbean several USA coastal states were hit by powerful hurricanes that moved slowly and dumped record rainful for days.