Hurricane Michael is now a Category 1 storm, after making landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, midday Wednesday as an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 with winds of 155 mph.
At least one death has been reported: The Gadsden County Sheriff's Office says a man was killed when a tree fell on his house. Michael is the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in nearly five decades, and the strongest on record to hit the Florida Panhandle. The hurricane was boosted by unseasonably warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Michael caused extensive damage in Mexico Beach and Panama City, destroying homes, uprooting trees, and downing power lines. It entered Georgia as a Category 3 storm, and it's expected to be downgraded soon to a tropical storm as it makes its way through the southeast.
In Panama City, the streets are littered with street signs, metal, plywood, and other debris. Local resident Vance Beu told The Associated Press a pine tree fell on the roof of his mother's apartment, and the storm was so loud it sounded like a jet engine. "It was terrifying, honestly," he said. "There as a lot of noise. We though the windows were going to break at any time. We had the inside windows kind of barricaded in with mattresses." Catherine Garcia