The most powerful hurricane on record to hit Florida’s Panhandle left wide destruction and at least two people dead before heading into Georgia as a tropical storm, moving toward the Hurricane Florence-battered Carolinas.
A day after the supercharged storm crashed ashore amid white sand beaches, fishing towns and military bases, Michael was no longer a Category 4 monster packing 250 km/h winds. As the tropical storm continued to weaken, it was still menacing the Southeast with heavy rains, blustery winds and possible spinoff tornadoes.
Authorities said at least two people have died. A man was killed by a tree falling on a panhandle home and, according to WMAZ-TV, an 11-year-old girl was killed by a tree falling on a home in southwest Georgia. Search and rescue crews were expected to escalate efforts to reach hardest-hit areas and check for anyone trapped or injured.
The storm was about 65 kilometres west-northwest of Columbia, S.C., as of 8 a.m. ET, moving northeast at 33 km/h. It’s expected to keep blowing across central and eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia before crossing into the Atlantic Ocean by late Thursday or early Friday.