This is what Florida looks like as Hurricane Michael batters the region

People wait for breakfast as they and others seek safety in a shelter as Hurricane Michael approaches Panama City Florida

The storm has 100 miles per hour winds.

A record-breaking landfall was made by Hurricane Michael, which plowed into the Florida Panhandle as a major Category 4 storm with 155 miles per hour maximum sustained winds. At the time, the then-tropical-storm wasn't expected to achieve its current Category 4 status, but now that it's here, it's time to batten down the hatches. A National Ocean Service water level station at Apalachicola recently reported almost 6.5 feet of inundation above ground level.

President Donald Trump has since approved an emergency declaration for Florida, permitting the federal government to provide resources and aid during Hurricane Michael.

A National Guard team got into Mexico Beach and found 20 survivors overnight, and more crews were pushing into the area in the morning, with the fate of many other residents unknown.

Michael's minimum central pressure - a key measure of hurricane strength - was measured at 919 millibars when it made landfall.

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

There was widespread damage in Panama City, Fla., just west of where the centre of Michael's eye hit the shore.

The Carolinas are still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which left dozens dead and is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in damage last month.

Hours earlier, it made landfall in Florida as the strongest hurricane to hit the United States in almost 50 years and the third-strongest ever.

There has never been a Category 4 hurricane make landfall on the Florida Panhandle - ever.

Unsafe conditions from damaging winds and flooding rain were forecast to spread through Georgia and into the Carolinas Wednesday night and Thursday (Friday NZT).

Based on wind speed, it was the fourth-strongest, behind the Labor Day storm (296 kph), Camille and Andrew in 1992. Numerous same counties are also under flash flood warnings.

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Josh Morgerman, a well-known storm chaser, tweeted, "It's hard to convey in words the scale of the catastrophe in Panama City".

The storm's intensity waned steadily as it pushed inland and curled northeasterly into Georgia.

The rain is pounding and the wind is whipping outside Judy Brown's apartment in Tallahassee.

A pine tree punched a hole in their roof, and Beu's ears popped because of the drop in barometric pressure from the storm.

The hurricane will likely devastate Florida's Panhandle communities.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for 92 counties in his state, and a state of emergency also was announced in North Carolina. They reported seeing many destroyed homes, some with staircases leading to doors suspended 10 feet in the air with nothing on the other side, and entire structures washed away.

Because Michael had not been expected to intensify as it did, thousands of coastal residents chose to ride it out at home, said Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the coast of North Carolina from Surf City to Duck on the Outer Banks, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. It'll dry out for the Sox game in time and be dry again Sunday.

Weather services and authorities expect both the winds and storm surges from Hurricane Michael to cause significant damage to the Florida Panhandle.

The storm, the most severe to hit the Florida Panhandle in a century, brought flash floods, inundating roads and homes. Her power is gone and the full force the hurricane is about to hit. Winds will also be noticeable over Cape Cod and the Islands.

The Hurricane Center added that "some additional strengthening is possible before landfall".

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