Hurricanes Florence And Michael Highlight Monster Storms' Devastating Differences

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A tree lays on a home and vehicle after hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida.

The storm, warmed by waters in the Gulf of Mexico, had strengthened to become one of the most intense storms to hit the United States when it made landfall in Florida.

Michael is moving across southwestern Georgia with damaging winds across the central and eastern Panhandle of Florida as well as southwestern and south-central Georgia, with storm flooding still occurring along the Gulf Coast, the NHC said. The storm is expected to move across southwestern and central Georgia Wednesday night, weakening as it continues to move northeast Thursday and then off the coast into the Atlantic Ocean early Friday, according to the latest National Hurricane Center advisory.

"Panama City, I don't know if there will be much left", he added.

Hurricane Michael finally weakened to a tropical storm on Thursday, no longer a Category 4 monster packing 250 kph winds. Interstate 10 was closed west of Tallahassee.

Risky conditions from damaging winds and flooding rain were forecast to spread through Georgia and into the Carolinas Wednesday night and Thursday (Friday NZT).

Michael came ashore with winds just under a Category 5 storm.

Richard Fausset of The New York Times said the winds were so intense that it felt like a California quake.

Panama City was a war zone, with windows blasted out and streets littered with debris. "We're going to get some people hurt".

The National Weather Service says tornadoes are possible across the Florida Panhandle, southeast Georgia and southern SC through Thursday morning as the hurricane now moves inland.

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

He said he plans to visit storm-ravaged areas as soon as he can.

"We just finished renovating and updating", she said.

Megan Williams, left, and roommate Kaylee O'Brian take belongings from their destroyed home after several trees fell on the house during Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Florida.

Catastrophe risk modelling and analysis firm Corelogic has just released an estimate of the insured losses from storm surge and hurricane force winds, which is based on the landfall factors hence this is not a post-landfall estimate of industry losses.

By early Thursday, the ferocious storm's winds had slowed to 50 miles per hour as crossed SC.

Scott spoke Wednesday morning with Trump, who signed a pre-landfall emergency declaration Tuesday ensuring that federal resources would be available before and after the storm in the 35 counties where the governor declared a state of emergency.

Meteorologists watched satellite imagery in complete awe as the storm intensified, with experts saying it is the worst ever recorded in the region. Only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane in the Florida Keys and Hurricane Camille in 1969 were stronger.

"We are in new territory", National Hurricane Center Meteorologist Dennis Feltgen wrote on Facebook.

Even before Michael made full landfall, it was whipping trees with its winds and had caused flooding in the town of Apalachicola, where more than 5 feet (1.5 meters) of water was reported, and about 20 miles away (32 km) in Port St. Joe. "I mean, literally, we follow it right in".