At least two people in the region were reported killed by trees that fell on their homes after Michael's hurricane-force winds pummeled the area.
"This storm is DEADLY", Florida governor Rick Scott warned.
Many flights were canceled in the hurricane zone, and Amtrak changed some train schedules to protect passengers and employees.
Zee was in the eye wall of the storm for more than an hour, with conditions were so bad that she and her team lost the ability to broadcast. "This hurricane was an absolute monster".
"The entire county was "pitch black" and there were no clear roads", he said.
Hurricane Michael's wind and storm surge ripped up buildings like posies and carried them inland. Rows and rows of other homes were smashed to pieces, crunched to the ground or leaning at odd angles. Boats tossed in yards.
Michael hit the Florida pan handle Wednesday, Oct. 10., at about 12:30 p.m.in Mexico Beach with 155 miles per hour winds.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told residents: "I know people are worn out from Florence, but don't let this storm catch you with your guard down".
Mishelle McPherson and her ex-husband searched for the elderly mother of a friend. The only sound that came back was the echo from the half-demolished building and the pounding of the surf.More news: Dianne Feinstein gets 'lock her up' chant at Donald Trump rally
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A landscape that once drew vacationers to secluded beaches was littered with refrigerators, toilets and staircases no longer connected to houses. "That's her floor tile".
From a helicopter, you can see numerous homes and hotels that populated the beachside town of about 1,200 are gone. "Do not think you can survive it", Scott said.
"If you and your family made it through the storm safely, the worst thing you could do now is act foolishly", he said.
Since the storm hit, residents of Panama City have seen their homes collapse, their roads flooded, and their storefront windows shattered.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted late Thursday morning that President Donald Trump granted a request for federal assistance for 14 counties: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, and Wakulla. No patients were hurt, the hospital said. Authorities said the state mental hospital in Chattahoochee, which has a section for the criminally insane, was cut off by land, and food and supplies were being flown in. The view shown here was captured on video by SevereStudios, a storm-chasing streaming platform.sourceSevereStudios.com via APHere, a small boat sits amid debris in Mexico Beach.sourceGerald Herbert/APBy Thursday morning, Michael had weakened to a tropical storm as it moved toward central Georgia.
Forecasters said it could drop up to 7 inches (18 centimetres) of rain over the Carolinas and Virginia before pushing out to sea Thursday night. On Thursday, Michael was drenching the Carolinas with heavy rains as it headed toward the Atlantic Ocean as a tropical storm. One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit her in the head.
The winds were strong enough to pierce the windshield of a vehicle in Panama City Beach. Roofs were peeled away and sent airborne. Aluminum siding was shredded to ribbons. Both were killed when trees crashed onto their homes. Pine trees were stripped and snapped off about 20 feet high.
The hurricane disrupted energy operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico as it approached land, cutting crude oil production by more than 40 percent and natural gas output by almost one-third as offshore platforms were evacuated. But it moved fast and intensified quickly, and emergency authorities lamented that many people ignored the warnings.
On the exposed coast of Florida's Big Bend, most of the waterfront homes in Keaton Beach stood vacant amid fears of a life-threatening storm surge in an area that hadn't seen a potentially catastrophic major hurricane in decades. Only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane in the Florida Keys and Hurricane Camille in 1969 were stronger.