Hurricane Michael: Two dead, 780,000 left without power as storm leaves Florida Panhandle in ruins

The Category 4 monster, which hit Florida packing 155 mph winds, has now been downgraded to a tropical storm as it heads towards the Carolinas.


                            Hurricane Michael: Two dead, 780,000 left without power as storm leaves Florida Panhandle in ruins

Hurricane Michael, which is the third-most powerful hurricane to strike the United States in recorded history, left the Florida Panhandle in ruins, as it destroyed hundreds of homes and left at least two, including a child, dead. Reports state that the death toll is expected to rise. 

Boats that were docked are seen in a pile of rubble after hurricane Michael passed through the downtown area on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm.
Boats that were docked are seen in a pile of rubble after hurricane Michael passed through the downtown area on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm.

The Category 4 monster, which hit Florida packing 155 mph winds, has now been downgraded to a tropical storm as it heads towards the Carolinas.

However, the hurricane is still wreaking havoc in Florida with heavy rains and possible spinoff tornadoes, causing a storm surge, and leaving over 780,000 homes and businesses without power on Thursday. The state, which was battling with the flooding left by Hurricane Florence last month, is now witnessing dangerous levels of water surge after Hurricane Michael.

According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Hurricane Michael's eye, by 5 am was about 45 miles west of Augusta, Georgia, packing top winds of 50 mph (80 kph) and moving at 21 mph (33 kph) into South Carolina.

People walk past damaged stores after hurricane Michael passed through the downtown area on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm.
People walk past damaged stores after hurricane Michael passed through the downtown area on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm.

As houses and trees toppled in the wake of the monster hurricane, thousands of law enforcement officers and search and rescue teams were deployed to find survivors in the wreckage of homes, where some people defied the evacuation orders issued by the state governor.

Reports state that the officials are facing difficulty in reaching the worst-hit areas and it will take some time for the residents of north Florida to take stock of the enormity of loss and disaster caused by the storm. The Florida Highway Patrol closed 80 miles of Interstate 10, the main east-west route along Florida’s Panhandle, to clear debris, according to HuffPost

Shields Marina starts taking water in the town of Saint Marks as Hurricane Michael pushes the storm surge up the Wakulla and Saint Marks Rivers which come together here on October 10, 2018 in Saint Marks, Florida. The hurricane is forecast to hit the Florida Panhandle at a possible category 4 storm.
Shields Marina starts taking water in the town of Saint Marks as Hurricane Michael pushes the storm surge up the Wakulla and Saint Marks Rivers which come together here on October 10, 2018 in Saint Marks, Florida. The hurricane is forecast to hit the Florida Panhandle at a possible category 4 storm.

Several homes in Mexico Beach, a town of 1,000 people, reportedly were ripped apart and washed away as the hurricane made its landfall and the storm surge pushed murky water above the rooftops of the houses. A man was killed because of falling trees outside Tallahassee, Florida while an 11-year-old girl died in southwest Georgia because of the storm.

Damaged buildings and a flooded street are seen after hurricane Michael passed through the downtown area on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm.
Damaged buildings and a flooded street are seen after hurricane Michael passed through the downtown area on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm.

“It was terrifying, honestly. There was a lot of noise. We thought the windows were going to break at any time," a 29-year-old resident of Spring Gate Apartments, Vance Beu said. He was staying with his mother at her home as they piled up mattresses around themselves for protection. Their roof was torn because of a pine tree, Beu said that the roar of the winds sounded like a jet engine.  

Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a statement, saying the search and rescue efforts in the region would be "aggressive," vowing "Hurricane Michael cannot break Florida."