Hurricane Michael crushes Georgia, heads toward Carolinas

S Hurricane Michael drenches Florida Panhandle

"I think our biggest impact here on the Island could be some heavier rain from this more garden-variety storm system, than a direct impact from Michael itself, although a plume of tropical moisture well ahead of Michael does look to push far enough north to have some effect on P.E.I". "Unsafe hurricane-force winds will also extend well inland across portions of the Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia, and southeast Alabama as Michael moves inland", the National Hurricane Center said on Wednesday morning.

As of the 5 p.m. advisory, Michael is an extremely risky Category 3 storm.

People seek safety in a shelter as Hurricane Michael approaches, October 10, 2018, in Panama City, Fla.

Now a tropical storm, Michael is the most powerful storm ever to hit Florida's Panhandle; senior correspondent Rick Leventhal reports from Panama City Beach.

As of 5:30 a.m., PowerOutage.US reported almost 358,000 customers of Georgia utilities were without power, with that number expected to grow as the storm continued to move across the state.

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.

After making landfall near Mexico Beach around 2 p.m. ET, the eye of Michael moved inland over the Florida Panhandle east of Panama City.

By late Wednesday, the storm had moved toward Georgia.

President Donald Trump has been in touch with state governors and said a federal emergency team is standing by and ready to help with storm recovery. The hurricane is forecast to hit the Florida Panhandle at a possible category 4 storm.

As with most large hurricanes, the National Weather Service has issued a whole list of watches and warnings associated with the storm, including severe thunderstorm alerts and tornado watches.

"Northwest Florida has never encountered a storm of this magnitude", Rogers said in a release.

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

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.

An estimated 6,000 people evacuated to emergency shelters, mostly in Florida, and that number was expected to swell to 20,000 across five states by week's end, Kieserman said. It is also the strongest hurricane to strike anywhere in Florida since Andrew in 1992.

It made landfall on the coast as a Category 1 hurricane on September 14 and drenched some parts of the state with 40 inches (101 centimeters) of rain.

Haley Nelson inspects damages to her family properties in the Panama City, Fla., area after Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida's Panhandle on Wednesday. Neighborhood streets flooded as waves battered the shoreline. More than 380,000 homes and businesses were without power at the height of the storm.

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