Hurricane Michael damaged the Florida Panhandle and crossed Georgia overnight with heavy winds.
Michael remained risky even though it weakened over the course of Wednesday afternoon and evening.
The National Hurricane Center downgraded Michael to a tropical storm early Thursday, saying its maximum winds had dropped below the threshold for a hurricane. These eased steadily overnight, to 50 miles per hour just before dawn. The hurricane left a path of destruction through the Florida Panhandle and entered Georgia as a Category 3 storm.
A video posted on Twitter showed winds ripping apart a house on Mexico Beach, its debris washing up to adjacent properties. Franklin County Sheriff A.J Smith told CNN that the county was almost isolated after most of the main roads were rendered impassable from flooding and downed trees. Before long, a pine tree punched a hole in their roof and the wind was so strong it caused their ears to pop.
Florida Governor Rick Scott warned of "unimaginable devastation", saying it would be the worst storm in 100 years.
Roy Radney was outside Wednesday evening when the call came that something had come through the roof and hit Sarah and his mother.
About 1.5 million homes and businesses were without power from Florida to Virginia on Friday, according to utility companies.
"Ken Graham, director of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, said Michael was "unfortunately, a historical and incredibly unsafe and life-threatening situation".
Willis said that a team was still working in Crawford County to assess the damage and intensity of the tornado. "There was a tree involved".More news: Fabinho speaks out on struggles after still not making Premier League debut
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An 11-year-old girl in southwestern Georgia also died when a tree fell on her home, officials said.
The kitties were found in a home with a collapsed ceiling in Panama City, Florida, and have become a symbol of resilience and hope for some in the wake of the ferocious storm. This was a borderline Category 5 storm, and it's clear the only reason Michael didn't quite cross that threshold was because it was crossing beaches by that time instead.
The storm is not expected to move offshore until Friday, having swept over much of Georgia as a hurricane and then North and SC as a tropical storm.
"Michael will steadily weaken as it crosses the south-eastern United States through Thursday night, becoming a tropical storm by Thursday morning". This storm could also have some profound effects on how the sector thinks about (and models) loss potential from Gulf Coast hurricanes, as a result of the perhaps unexpected pre-landfall intensification and distance inland that hurricane force winds were recorded.
The third-most powerful hurricane to hit the US mainland in recorded history left a wide path of destruction, destroying homes and shopping centres and felling trees that killed at least two people in Florida and Georgia. "We know many people have been injured".
President Donald Trump promised to provide speedy assistance to help recovery efforts.
At 11 a.m., the center of the storm was 35 miles of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Michael Williams, 70, waved to passing motorists while looking for food and water as downed trees prevented him from driving out of his damaged home with his family in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Springfield, Fla., today.
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 centimetres) of rain.