Track Hurricane Michael flooding in real time

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Hurricane Michael has claimed a life in North Carolina, bringing the total death toll from the storm to six.

Hurricane Michael is a Category 4 storm approaching the Florida Gulf Coast.

The storm made landfall on the Florida Panhandle Wednesday afternoon as one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the U.S. The intense Category 4 hurricane was packing maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour when it crashed ashore near Mexico Beach, a lightly populated tourist town about midway along the Panhandle. What used to be a gorgeous beachfront city now looks like an apocalyptic mess.

Where has Hurricane Michael hit so far? "That's probably ground zero".

A fast and furious Hurricane Michael sped towards Florida on Tuesday night with 120mph winds and a potential storm surge of 13 feet, giving tens of thousands of people little time to get out or board up.

Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said: "I am not seeing the level of traffic on the roadways that I would expect when we've called for the evacuation of 75% of this county". Many crops, such as vegetables and cotton, may also be affected. An 80-mile stretch of Interstate 10, the main east-west route along the Panhandle, is still closed because of debris.

More than 830,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida, Alabama and Georgia early Thursday. It was centered about 30 miles southwest of Macon, Georgia.

Catastrophic scenes have emerged across the Florida Panhandle.

"Don't think that you can ride this out if you're in a low-lying area", Mr Nelson said on CNN.

"When the water came in, houses started floating in front of our home", he said.

He spoke with CNN's Brooke Baldwin live on air Thursday, in front of a home that was pushed onto its side. "We're working diligently to get to everyone as quickly as we can". "(I) know that I felt I've been through worse growing up in The Bahamas". "All the stores, all the restaurants, everything - there's nothing left here anymore". "There's nothing left here anymore".

Pine trees litter a yard in Port St. Joe, Fla., on Garrison Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, after Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle.

The declaration was made based on the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center regarding Hurricane Michael's forecast path and intensity as it moves into the state of Georgia. Those who remained were urged to shelter in place.

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"Michael is upon us, it is time to seek refuge". The debris-covered floor of the school's gymnasium is now fully visible from outside. "I think they will be back", LaFountain said in a phone interview while driving back to Mexico Beach.

"Resiliency is important, and it's an important life message that we all have to learn". No injuries were reported, but there's roof damage to "nearly every home" on the base.

"There are so many downed power lines and trees that it's nearly impossible to get through the city", Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson said.

With a low barometric pressure recorded at 919 millibars, the measure of a hurricane's force, it ranked as the third strongest storm on record to make landfall in the continental United States.

The Rev. Eddie LaFountain, pastor at First Baptist Church in Mexico Beach, was one of them.

Michael, which Gov. Scott called "monstrous", made landfall with wind speeds that were almost the greatest possible for a Category 4 - 155 miles per hour.

Already, flood waters have swamped hard hit areas.

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An 11-year-old girl also died in Seminole County, Georgia, after a tree fell on a home, according to local emergency management officials.

FEMA's Long said he's anxious the number of deaths will rise Thursday.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for. The planet has warmed significantly over the past several decades, causing changes in the environment.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told residents: "I know people are tired from Florence, but don't let this storm catch you with your guard down". Homes were swallowed in storm surge.

More than 300 miles of coastline are now under threat, the National Weather Service has said.

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