By 2 p.m. EDT, the storm had pushed northeast to within 25 miles of Greensboro, North Carolina, carrying 50-mph winds, the NHC said.
The storm has weakened but continues to travel over the Carolinas to the Atlantic Ocean, bringing with it heavy rains.
Homes completely destroyed. Refrigerators and toilets where the storm left them. Flash flooding also was reported in the big North Carolina cities of Charlotte and Raleigh.
There are already thousands of power outages in the state, and crews have begun to fix them.
Utility crews will be working throughout the weekend to restore power to Virginia customers.
State emergency management officials reported Saturday that almost 264,000 customers remain without electricity in the state.
"You can't drive a auto anywhere, you can't do anything because it's littered with houses, pieces of houses", said Patricia Mulligan, who rode out the storm with her family in a condo in Mexico Beach, a town of mom-and-pop shops and sport-fishing businesses about 56km southeast of Panama City. Uprooted trees. Piles of rubble and debris everywhere.
"Why people didn't evacuate is something we should be studying", said Craig Fugate, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a former Florida state emergency management chief. He rode out the storm because he didn't think it was going to be so bad. Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center was treating some, but the hospital evacuated 130 patients as it faced challenges of running on generators after the storm knocked out power, ripped off part of its roof and smashed windows, a spokesman for the hospital's owner HCA Healthcare said in an email. One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit her on the head. "All of my furniture was floating", she said.
Sarah had just started the sixth grade and joined the drama club and the band.
The marina her brother owns is submerged, she said.
The storm was moving northeast at 24 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour.
Three other people died in Gadsden County, Hightower said.
Emergency officials in SC are reporting no injuries or deaths so far as Tropical Storm Michael moves across the state.
Social media websites were filled with messages from people trying to reach missing family members in Florida's Bay and Gulf Counties. Some operate vacation home rentals, while others work jobs cleaning and maintaining the homes.
"We are going to be aggressive with recovery and response over the coming days and will do everything we can to assist our communities that have seen impacts from this devastating storm", he said. "We're staying to protect our place". Soon enough, Mexico Beach's emerald waters and sugar-sand beaches were covered in a dark sea of debris, she said. Despite the destruction, Rev. Luke Farabaugh and his congregation celebrated Mass on Thursday. "My father is responsible for all of the seafood that's in our area, literally millions and millions of dollars of seafood, and he feels compelled to stay to make sure those seafood houses are back up and running as soon as the storm passes", she said.
On Thursday morning, with two trees lying lopsided on her roof and her backyard ravaged, she realized she made the wrong choice. "I've been telling people.to have hope".
Picking our way through a mass of rubble and detritus that was once a house, we spot an American flag on the ground; in amongst it all there is also a toy vehicle and a cracked glass plate from a microwave. "Our reward isn't just in this life but in the life to come". "We know many people have been injured".
Some other highways are still closed because of flooding and damage from Hurricane Florence last month.
Hundreds of residents were rescued on Thursday from cars, apartments and homes flooded by rushing water.
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