After slamming Florida and lashing Georgia, Michael is now barreling through the storm-weary Carolinas. It pushed a wall of seawater inland, causing widespread flooding.
The storm is quickly moving north on Thursday, through the Carolinas and beyond.
"Today is the day". "We have done everything we can as far as getting the word out", Smith said.
Though the hurricane has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, it has already wreaked havoc in many Florida Panhandle neighborhoods. The base had been evacuated before the storm and no injuries were reported.
Wakulla County issued a dire warning, saying it won't open any of its shelters - because they're safety-rated only for storms up to Category 2 strength, WFSU reports.
The storm was on track to make an expected exit into the Atlantic Ocean by Friday morning, with some parts of Virginia and North Carolina expected to see as much as nine inches of rain, bringing the likelihood for unsafe flooding.
"It is going to go fast", Trump said in an interview with "Fox and Friends".
"Hurricane Michael can not break Florida", Scott vowed. The storm has killed a man in Florida and a girl in Georgia. "It looks like another big one". For the most part, it's not there anymore.
The storm's winds partially demolished some structures in Panama City and stripped off roofs. But the surging seawater could also create perilous problems far from the coast, raising rivers and bays to risky levels as it pushes as much as 10 to 15 miles inland. But there were fears, however, that some people weren't heeding the calls to get out despite predictions of a life-threatening storm surge.
"I've never been through one this bad", said Jerry Nelson, who was born and raised outside Panama City, where winds ripped away bricks from the facade of the historic high school and mangled building after building. The governor has declared a state of emergency in 35 counties and is stressing that residents should "absolutely" evacuate if ordered to.
With a number of counties ordering evacuations, Scott waived highway tolls in the northwest part of the state.
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"I stayed because my parents didn't want to leave".
"Storm surge is the No. 1 problem that you can see from these storms".
"The people in North and SC have been through it", Long said.
More than 300 miles of coastline are now under threat, the National Weather Service has said.
Both Peaton and Scott encourage residents to have at least three days' worth of food and supplies and to check on their neighbors and monitor local news coverage.
But forecasters said winds and outer rain bands of a storm that was strengthening and becoming better organized by the hour would begin lashing the coast well ahead of the eye making landfall.
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More than 400,000 utility customers remained without power Thursday morning as thousands of rescue and utility crew members spread out across coastal and rural Panhandle communities to respond to the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael.
Surging water filled their first floor, now muddy and ruined.
He said strong winds picked up a portable carport Wednesday and dropped it down on the roof.
SULLIVAN: That's Florida Governor Rick Scott. Hurricane conditions are expected along the Gulf Coast by Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions arriving as early as Tuesday night.
As both new- and used-vehicle inventories are relatively low, Cox Automotive is expecting temporary upward pricing pressure in the areas most impacted by the storm, particularly on the used-vehicle side.
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