Updates, tracking resources as storm makes landfall

Updates, tracking resources as storm makes landfall

Updates, tracking resources as storm makes landfall

A man in Greensboro, Fla., was killed Wednesday when a tree crashed through his home - the first reported death caused by Hurricane Michael, which authorities have described as the worst storm to ever hit the Florida Panhandle.

"We're going to do everything we can and send people out to keep people safe". It was heading north-northeast at 14 miles per hour (22 kph) with maximum sustained winds down to 150 miles per hour, the hurricane center said.

Michael, the strongest hurricane on record to hit the area, made landfall Wednesday and continued to charge north, wreaking havoc and prompting emergencies as it moves through the region.

"Everyone ... should not venture out into the relative calm of the eye, as hazardous winds will increase very quickly as the eye passes", according to the agency.

Numerous buildings in Panama City were demolished, partially collapsed or without roofs amid deserted streets littered with debris, twisted, fallen tree trunks and dangling wires.

After carving an agonizing path of destruction across the Florida Panhandle, Georgia and southeastern Alabama for almost 10 hours, Hurricane Michael finally slowed to a tropical storm at midnight and continued to weaken early Thursday.

In any case, no matter how you measure it, Michael is among the most powerful hurricanes in recent memory along with Camille in 1969, Andrew in 1992 and Katrina in 2005.

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Hurricane Michael, the third-most powerful ever to strike the United States mainland, battered Florida's Gulf coast before it was downgraded to a tropical storm as it headed through Georgia. And on Wednesday afternoon, it slammed into the Florida coast as a major Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour ― just 2 miles per hour shy of Category 5 strength.

"My God, it's scary".

"We just finished renovating and updating", she said.

Hurricane Michael earlier made landfall just northwest of Mexico Beach, Florida.

It was a relatively calm year except for hurricanes Michael and Florence last month.

"It feels like you don't know when the next tree is going to fall on top of you because it's blowing so ferociously", said Port St Joe Mayor Bo Patterson. "Things happen to even the most experienced chasers", said Rachael Adair.

A child was killed in Seminole County, Georgia during the storm, emergency management officials said.

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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.

Mexico Beach councilwoman Linda Albrecht told CNN she fears she won't have a home to go back to after the hurricane sweeps through the state.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in several Florida counties and devastating effects are expected to expand far inland.

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

"Heavy rain associated with Tropical Storm Michael will continue into this afternoon, tapering off as the storm moves east", the National Weather Service said.

This graphic shows the projected path of the storm. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) declared a state of emergency Wednesday morning in 66 counties.

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