Monster Hurricane Michael brings 'unimaginable devastation' as it slams Florida

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn upon arrival at the White House in Washington Wednesday Oct. 10 2018 from a trip to Omaha Neb

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn upon arrival at the White House in Washington Wednesday Oct. 10 2018 from a trip to Omaha Neb

A month after Hurricane Florence's epic deluge, SC officials are more concerned about tornadoes than flooding from Michael.

"Hurricane Michael is forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in a century", Governor Rick Scott said.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said in a 7 p.m. update that Michael, which hammered Florida with 155 miles per hour winds, is now moving over southwestern Georgia.

"Hurricane Michael is a deadly Category 4 storm".

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

The wind speed - almost the highest possible for a Category 4 hurricane - with which Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach and Panama City. Surges of as high as 14 feet are expected around where Michael made landfall near Apalachicola, Florida.

Michael isn't alone. The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Leslie and Tropical Storm Nadine are no threat to land over the open Atlantic Ocean, but Tropical Storm Sergio in the Pacific is blowing toward the Baja California Peninsula on a path across Mexico to the southern U.S. Plains and the Ozarks by the weekend.

"We are catching some hell" was how a Panama City Beach resident who chose to ride it out described Michael as it made landfall. Downgraded to a tropical storm over south Georgia, it was weakening by the hour.

The child's death is the second known storm-related death.

Briefing President Donald Trump at the White House, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chief Brock Long said Michael was the most intense hurricane to strike the Florida Panhandle since 1851. More than 40,000 people lost power across the state.

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The Category 4 storm intensified as it made landfall in the area, causing homes to be completely wiped out from flood waters. Hurricane Michael's winds are "going to knock down a lot of trees, say, in the Tallahassee area, all of these areas inland".

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The Category 4 hurricane was the fiercest to hit Florida in 80 years when it came ashore on Wednesday, but its strength waned as it pushed into Georgia.

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. Its 249 kph (155 mph) winds blew sheets of rain sideways.

"We haven't seen her since the tree hit the den".

Hurricane Michael didnt give Floridians much time to brace for its devastating impact.

-Strorm riders: Roughly 375,000 people in Florida warned to evacuate; many refused.

The storm will be making landfall around 2 p.m.

Michael's center is approximately 90 miles southwest of Panama City, Florida.

"This situation has NEVER happened before", it said on Twitter.

According to Climate Central, a scientific research organization, the coming decades are expected to bring hurricanes that intensify more rapidly, should there be no change in the rate of greenhouse gas emissions.

Pensacola-based Gulf Power estimated that up to 225,000 of its customers could be impacted by the storm that pounded the Panhandle throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

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