Hurricane Michael left path of destruction, isn't done yet

Hurricane Michael is still a major hurricane as it moves inland to Georgia

Michael was downgraded by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) from a category 4 hurricane to a tropical storm early on Thursday.

A man watches the sun set during Hurricane Michael in Panama City Beach, Florida.

After carving an agonizing path of destruction across the Florida Panhandle, Georgia and southeastern Alabama for almost 10 hours and killing at least two people, Hurricane Michael finally slowed to a tropical storm at midnight and continued to weaken early Thursday. However, DoD did relocate its homeland defense air operations center temporarily from Tyndall Air Force Base; the base was being hit by the storm as O'Shaughnessy briefed reporters, he said.

In the hours and days ahead, the storm is expected to take a largely easterly course, pushing up through Georgia and the Carolinas before eventually making its way back out to sea sometime after Thursday evening.

Hurricane Michael is predicted to travel northeast across the southern US, reaching the Atlantic Ocean again on tomorrow night (Oct. 11).

An official with an emergency management agency says Tropical Storm Michael is responsible for a child's death in Georgia.

Unsafe conditions from damaging winds and flooding rain were forecast to spread through Georgia and into the Carolinas Wednesday night and Thursday (Friday NZT). Michael washed away white sand beaches, hammered military bases and destroyed coastal communities, stripping trees to stalks, shredding roofs, toppling trucks and pushing boats into buildings.

Meteorologists use central pressure readings to gauge a hurricane's strength - the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.

More than 5,000 evacuees sought shelter in Tallahassee, which is about 40km from the coast but is covered by live oak and pine trees that can fall and cause power outages even in smaller storms.

Hurricane Michael has weakened to a Category 1 storm, but is still a risky rainmaker as it travels across Georgia.

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"My God, it's scary".

Photos and videos show homes in the town of some 2,000 residents shredded to pieces.

In the case of Michael the damage will be mainly from wind rather than rain.

There was severe flooding, buildings were badly damaged, trees were uprooted and power lines were brought down, leaving hundreds of thousands without electricity.

Here are some figures which illustrate the power of Michael on the continental United States and which "took forecasters by surprise", according to Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.

But Brad Kieserman of the American Red Cross said yesterday that as many as 320,000 people on Florida's Gulf Coast had disregarded evacuation notices.

"This situation has NEVER happened before", it said on Twitter. Some of those areas are still working to recover from Hurricane Florence.

President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Florida, freeing up federal assistance to supplement state and local disaster responses.

About 3,500 Florida National Guard troops were deployed to assist with evacuations and storm recovery, along with more than 1,000 search-and-rescue personnel, Governor Rick Scott said. Storm surge is going to be the worse where eye makes landfall - just to the east or south of where the eye makes landfall...

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