Hurricane Michael left path of destruction, isn’t done yet

Joe Raedle  Getty Images Waves crash along a pier from hurricane Michael Oct. 10 2018 in Panama City Beach Fla

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

Extremely powerful Hurricane Michael crashed into Florida's northwestern Panhandle coast on Wednesday, flooding towns and ripping up trees with 155 mile per hour (249 kph) winds and the potential for a devastating storm surge.

Michael grew from a tropical storm into a Category 4 hurricane over the course of about 40 hours.

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

Even as Michael moved farther inland, it continued to pack maximum sustained winds of up to 225kmh and has a well-defined eye. O'Shaughnessy said Army Corps of Engineers personnel are still on the ground in the Carolina's assisting with rebuilding efforts there.

A store lost its awning after winds ripped it from its foundation in Panama City, Florida.

The transformer exploded in Headland, Alabama, and and the power went out at Nolan Helder's home.

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.

Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama issued a state-wide state of emergency on Monday "in anticipation of wide-spread power outages, wind damage, and debris produced by high winds and heavy rain associated with Hurricane Michael".

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The storm could drive sea water levels as high as 4.3 metres above normal in some areas, the National Hurricane Centre said.

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

It forced more than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast to evacuate as it gained strength quickly while crossing the eastern Gulf of Mexico toward north Florida. The storm had top sustained winds of 112 km/h and was moving to the northeast at 27 km/h.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican running for the US Senate in November's congressional elections, declared a state of emergency in 35 Florida counties.

Meteorologists watched satellite imagery in complete awe as the storm intensified, with experts saying it is the worst ever recorded in the region.

If you live in an area affected by the hurricane, you can find the latest forecasts and warnings at the National Hurricane Center's website. Based on wind speed, it was the fourth-strongest, behind the Labour Day storm, Camille and Andrew in 1992.

Sally Crown rode out Michael on the Panhandle thinking at first that the worst damage was the many fallen trees in her yard before she emerged to check on the cafe she manages.

In Apalachicola about 35 miles to the southeast and just inside the perimeter for hurricane winds, a tidal gauge recorded water at 8.55 feet before 7 p.m. Wednesday. Scientists say global warming is responsible for more intense and more frequent extreme weather, such as storms, droughts, floods and fires, and Michael was fuelled by abnormal water temperatures in the Gulf - 4-to-5 degrees above the historic norm for this time of year. Hundreds of military families were moved out, and the base's aircraft, which include F-22 Raptors, were flown to safety hundreds of miles away. "I think its because of the way it kind of played out". "I'm freakin' scared I'm going to lose everything I own, man".

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