As our southern states are starting to get out and about, their wake up call is not their alarm clock — instead its trees down, power out, buildings damaged. Florida and Georgia are waking up to their worse nightmare.
Hurricane Michael was the first Category 4 storm on record to make land fall in Florida’s Panhandle. As Michael cut a brutal path through Florida Panhandle on Wednesday afternoon, just shy of a Category 5 hurricane, damage was significant. Michael did not slow down until midnight and raced through Georgia. According to CBS News, it became the first Category 3 hurricane to track in Georgia since 1898.
A look at the widespread destruction across Panama City, Florida from #Hurricane #Michael. Recovery efforts begin in Florida and Georgia as Michael tracks into the Carolinas. Our crews are live 24/7 with the latest forecast and conditions.
Posted by AMHQ on Thursday, October 11, 2018
The worst of the damage is still coming to light. As of Thursday morning, two reported deaths have been recorded. Authorities fear as they start removing rubble from destroyed buildings, that number will rise. So far, Florida has one reported death and another in Georgia.
Thursday morning Hurricane Michael was in Georgia and headed toward the Carolinas, which is still recovering from last month’s Hurricane Florence. More than 800,000 customers are without power in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Michael was a rapidly intensifying storm, giving locals only 48 hours notice, not nearly enough time for an evacuation.
The full extent of the damage and other casualties was uncertain: Florida Gov. Rick Scott told CNN on Thursday that two hospitals in Panama City were damaged in the storm and were “in the process of being closed down.” He said that temporary hospitals were being set up to treat people injured in the storm, but that “we don’t know the numbers” of injured yet. “My biggest concern would be loss of life,” he said.
Scott tweeted Thursday morning, “I’m urging residents of impacted areas to continue to stay off the roads and listen to your local authorities so that our first responders and utility crews can do their jobs. We’re working diligently to get to everyone as quickly as we can.”
I’m urging residents of impacted areas to continue to stay off the roads and listen to your local authorities so that our first responders and utility crews can do their jobs. We’re working diligently to get to everyone as quickly as we can.
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) October 11, 2018
This story will be updated as new information becomes available.