Two, including a child, killed in Hurricane Michael; Florida witnesses 'worst' storm

Peer into Hurricane Michael's Mesmerizing Eye in This Eerie Time Lapse Video

Authorities said at least two people have died, a man killed by a tree falling on a Panhandle home and according to WMAZ-TV, an 11-year-old girl was also killed by a tree falling on a home in southwest Georgia.

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. As of 5 a.m. ET Friday, the storm is moving northeast across the Atlantic Ocean and was about 185 miles east-northeast of Norfolk, Virginia.

In Virginia, the Roanoke River jumped its banks and flooded several nearby homes and businesses.

At Jinks Middle School in Panama City, the storm tore off part of the gym roof and one wall, leaving the wooden floor covered in water.

"The wind that came through here was surreal".

One of the hardest-hit spots in Florida is Mexico Beach, where Michael crashed ashore. "It's unlivable. It's heartbreaking".

Michael's intensification in the hours leading up to Wednesday caught many by surprise.

The category four storm - the second-highest on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale - made landfall near Mexico Beach in Florida and was just shy of a rare category five when it came ashore.

As Michael plows northward up the Atlantic seaboard, the governors of North and SC urged residents to brace for more heavy rain and storm-force winds. The Carolinas are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

Hurricane Michael damaged the Florida Panhandle and crossed Georgia overnight with heavy winds. Up to a foot (30 cm) of rain was forecast in Florida.

Homes washed away by Hurricane Michael were shown in this aerial photo, today, in Mexico Beach, Fla.


Florida Governor Rick Scott said the storm had caused "unbelievable devastation" and the priority for the moment was looking for survivors among residents who failed to heed orders to evacuate.

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.

"My God, it's scary". "However, I don't think I'm in a position to say - one way or the other - whether global warming played an important role in Michael's rapid intensification", he cautioned.

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Centre in hard-hit Panama City, 32km northwest of Mexico Beach, was treating some of the injured. Wind damage was also evident. So many families have lost everything.

As many as 320,000 people on Florida's Gulf Coast had disregarded evacuation notices, according to Brad Kieserman of the American Red Cross. The hospital was evacuating 130 patients as it faced challenges of running on generators after the storm knocked out power, ripped off part of its roof and smashed windows, a spokesman for the hospital's owner HCA Healthcare said in an email.

Bo Patterson, the mayor of Port St. Joe, just south of Mexico Beach, rode out the storm in his house seven blocks from the beach, describing the scene outside as "very, very scary". But the fate of many residents was unknown.

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center and elsewhere drew kudos for their quick and accurate work in tracking the hurricane.

With a low barometric pressure recorded at 919 millibars, a measure of a hurricane's force, Michael was the third strongest storm on record to hit the continental United States, behind only Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969 and the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chief Brock Long said many buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane.

The Coast Guard said it rescued at least 27 people before and after the hurricane's landfall, mostly from coastal homes.

The Pentagon positioned more than 2,200 active-duty military personnel, along with helicopters, high-water vehicles and swift-water boats.

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