'Worst on record': Hurricane Michael slams Florida with winds up to 250kmh

It has been called the worst storm in 100 years by Florida Governor Rick Scott.

A Hurricane Warning is still in place in coastal Bay County, Florida.

Olivia Smith, public information officer for the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners, said there was "one hurricane-related fatality", adding that the incident was "debris-related".

The winds were so strong they brought down a billboard in Florida's Panama City, tore down a Texaco gas pumping station canopy in Inlet Beach, and the storm surge completely knocked a house of its foundations in Mexico Beach.

The hurricane is expected to make landfall Wednesday, with population centers like Panama City and Tallahassee sitting in its path.

A day after the supercharged storm crashed ashore amid white sand beaches, fishing towns and military bases, Michael was no longer a Category Four monster packing 250 km/h winds.

Mexico Beach, Florida, has been one of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Michael.

He said the storm would still have hurricane-force winds as it pushed through Florida into Georgia, and tropical storm-force winds when it reaches the Carolinas, which are still reeling from post-Florence flooding. It had sustained winds of 155 mph, meaning it wasn't from a Category 5 storm - a Category 4 hurricane has sustained winds of up to 156 mph, and Category 5 is 157 mph and above.

An estimated 6,000 evacuees took cover in emergency shelters, a lot of them in Florida, and that number was expected to swell to 20,000 across five states by week's end, Kieserman said.

"We are catching some hell", said Timothy Thomas, who rode out the storm with his wife in their second-floor apartment in Panama City Beach.

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A water-level station in Apalachicola, close to where Michael came ashore, reported a surge of almost 8 feet (2.5 meters).

Michael's minimum central pressure remained at 923 millibars in the most recent National Hurricane advisory as it moved north-northeast at 14 miles per hour.

Hurricane Michael weakened to near tropical storm strength Wednesday night as it moved across southwestern Georgia, the National Hurricane Center said.

"On the forecast track, the core of Michael will move across southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia through this evening".

"It feels like a nightmare", she said."Looking at the pictures, I'm thinking there is not a house left in that town". He said he plans to visit storm-ravaged areas as soon as he can.

At landfall, Michael's wind strength was just 2 miles per hour under the threshold for a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest grade of hurricane. "Do not risk your life, leave NOW if you were told to do so", it said.

"Along our coast, communities are going to see unimaginable devastation", Scott said, with storm surge posing the greatest danger. It is the fourth strongest on record, and nothing this ferocious has ever hit the Panhandle.

President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration for Florida, freeing up federal funds for relief operations and providing the assistance of FEMA, which has more than 3,000 people on the ground.

The storm is moving north-northeast at 16 miles per hour and is likely to remain a strong hurricane through Wednesday night as the system is expected to move through parts of Georgia and into the Carolinas.

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