Powerful Hurricane Michael kills one after making landfall in Florida

Supercharged by abnormally warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle with terrifying winds of 155 miles per hour Wednesday, splintering homes and submerging neighborhoods.

The hurricane was expected to gradually weaken as it passed over the southeastern United States, the hurricane center said.

In an advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the potential for a catastrophic event along the Florida Panhandle becomes even more real as Category 4 Hurricane Michael has increased in intensity.

The most powerful hurricane on record to hit Florida's Panhandle left wide destruction and at least one person dead and wasn't almost finished Thursday as it crossed Georgia toward the Carolinas, still reeling from epic flooding in Hurricane Florence.

Based on its internal barometric pressure, Michael was the most powerful hurricane to blow ashore on the USA mainland since Camille in 1969.

The surge, or the rise in sea water above normally dry land along the coast, could reach at least 2.4m to 3.6m in the hardest-hit areas, inundating roads, homes and businesses.

See the latest from the Capital Weather Gang here and track the storm's path here.

"I am hearing on TV, as all of us go home, it will be like a war zone", she added. The NHC forecasts up to 8 inches for the panhandle, southeast Alabama, and parts of southwest and central Georgia.

Based on wind speed, Michael is the fourth-strongest US -landfalling hurricane, behind Andrew, Camille in 1969, and the biggest one of all, an unnamed 1935 Labor Day storm that had winds of 184 miles per hour.

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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, Fla., Oct. 10, 2018.

While originally a Category 1 storm, Michael was upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane just hours before it was set to make landfall. The areas from Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island and between the Alabama-Florida border and the Okaloosa-Walton county line could see 2 feet to 4 feet of storm surge.

Hurricane Michael is predicted to travel northeast across the southern USA, reaching the Atlantic Ocean again on tomorrow night (Oct. 11).

"Storm surge will be the most damaging aspect of the storm", says Kottlowski. It is the fourth strongest on record, and nothing this ferocious has ever hit the Panhandle.

Benson also posted a clip of the storm's winds picking up a portable toilet and sending it flying across a parking lot.

As the Tallahassee office of the National Weather Service said on Twitter earlier Wednesday: "If you're not sheltered in place now, you need to be!"

More than 600,000 customers are without power across Florida and Georgia, with an increasing percentage of these occurring across central Georgia.

President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Florida, freeing up federal assistance to supplement state and local disaster responses.

Characterized by strong winds and heavy rainfall, the hurricane of 1930 caused severe damage to the Dominican Republic.

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