A restaurant fixture known as "Big Gus" is seen damaged by Hurricane Michael in Panama City Beach. An 80-mile stretch of I-10 west of Tallahassee was closed to clear debris. "She's my baby", O'Brien said, her face wet with tears. Roofs were peeled away, sent airborne, and homes were split open by fallen trees.
His parents live about 20 miles from the nearest hospital and Sarah's grandmother had to walk hundreds of yard s to reach the emergency responders who could only tend to her after six hours due to downed trees.
"We're gathering and loading and placing things in positions now", the Christian leader announced.
Michael also disrupted energy operations in the US Gulf of Mexico as it approached land, cutting crude oil production by more than 40% and natural gas output by almost one-third as offshore platforms were evacuated. Some houses were simply wiped off of their foundations, with wreckage and sand covering the ground and streets. As many as 3,500 soldiers and airmen have been deployed for rescue operations while 1,000 law enforcement officers and 19,000 power restoration personnel are ready for deployment in the state.
At home in Cairo about 45 miles (70 kilometers) away, Sarah's father and stepmother, Roy and Amber Radney, kept in touch with her grandparents through frequent phone calls as the storm winds gusted around them. But the fast-moving, fast-strengthening storm didn't give people much time to prepare, and emergency authorities lamented that many ignored the warnings and seemed to think they could ride it out. The storm, which killed two people, weakened in its intensity as it progressed to Georgia.
"I'll be travelling to Florida very, very shortly and I just want to wish them all the best. You know, that's hard", she said, choking back tears.
Forecasters warned parts of Florida could experience storm surges of up to 14ft (4m) and flash floods from up to 12in (30cm) of rain.
"Kaboom! Like the world moved or something", Lewis said of the moment when the trees snapped while he sheltered inside.
Nearby Panama City Beach experienced similar damage along with other communities along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. He imposed a curfew and asked for 50 members of the National Guard for protection.
Footage of a Waffle House in Panama City, that was damaged after a large pole fell on top of it during Hurricane Michael. The damage at Bay Medical Sacred Heart included blown-out windows and a cracked exterior wall though no patients were hurt.
The storm will then continue into southeastern Virginia and finally the Atlantic Ocean by late tonight or early Friday.
An 11-year-old girl killed Wednesday afternoon when Hurricane Michael hit southwest Georgia has been identified by authorities. A driver in North Carolina was killed when a tree fell on his auto.
Michael is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 7 inches from northern SC, west-central to northwestern North Carolina, and into south-central to southeast Virginia, including the southern Delmarva Peninsula. Street flooding was reported in Roanoke and other southwestern Virginia cities that reported motorists caught in flooding had to be rescued.
Gov. Roy Cooper in a morning briefing with reporters emphasized that the former hurricane remains a risky storm, even though most of its destructive power has been spent in Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
As Michael is moving through Thomasville, it continues to travel northeast, leaving 175,000 people without power ever since it hit Georgia, Atlantic-Journal Constitution reported.
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