Hurricane Michael makes landfall as strongest storm in U.S. in 50 years

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Michael strengthens into Category 4 | News

North and SC are both still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which left dozens dead and caused billions of dollars in damage last month. It's very, very scary.

At least two people have lost their lives following the category four "monster" storm which brought torrential rain and destroyed properties. He said he plans to visit storm-ravaged areas as soon as he can. "Winds of this intensity can really knock down any tree or structure in its path".

The storm's maximum sustained winds have decreased to 50 miles per hour and it was moving to the northeast at 21 miles per hour.

Buck Allen's hometown of Miccosukee is situated in the panhandle of Florida, which was also expected to bear the brunt of Hurricane Michael as it made landfall Wednesday afternoon.

They turned out to be correct, as warm ocean waters and a lack of wind shear - which are powerful opposing winds that can topple hurricanes - set the stage for the storm's intensification.

Category 4 Hurricane Michael being felt on Florida coast
Hurricane Michael is on track to be the strongest hurricane to hit the United States in 50 years, and the third strongest ever. What the Hurricane Center has been predicting has come to pass - Hurricane Michael has strengthened into a major hurricane.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long said at the White House that he was especially concerned about buildings constructed before 2001, and not able to withstand such high winds.

"Satellite images of Michael's evolution on Tuesday night were, in a word, jaw-dropping", wrote Bob Henson, a meteorologist with weather site Weather Underground. Hours earlier, it made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane near Mexico Beach, Florida.

CNN journalist Brooke Baldwin was left aghast at what little was left of Mexico Beach, Florida, as she viewed from a helicopter the devastation of the Florida Panhandle from Hurricane Michael, the third-most powerful hurricane to hit the USA mainland in recorded history. He was briefed by FEMA's Long in the Oval Office on preparations.

The storm killed at least two people and left hundreds of thousands of homes without power as it moved from Florida to Georgia.

But while the winds eased, the threat of flooding rain, including in areas already soaked by a recent hurricane, Florence, along the U.S. East Coast persisted.

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State officials issued disaster declarations in Alabama and Georgia and the storm is also expected to bring heavy rainfall to North and SC.

As the storm moved northward, it tore through Panama City. "We thought the windows were going to break at any time", Beu said. "God willing we'll still have some place".

Flooding continues along the Gulf Coast, where downed trees and utility poles are complicating rescue efforts.

The National Hurricane Centre warned of possible spinoff tornadoes and heavy rains in Alabama and Georgia, before the storm heads for SC, already soaked by Hurricane Florence in September. Up to a foot (30 cm) of rainfall was forecast for some areas from Michael. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared an emergency for 92 counties in his state, and a state of emergency also was announced in North Carolina.

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