As of Thursday afternoon, more than 713,000 homes and businesses in the Southeast had no electricity. Michael was a tropical storm, hitting North Carolina and South Carolina with heavy downpours and threatening to cause tornadoes.
As of 11 a.m. ET, Michaels core was approximately 35 miles south-southeast of Charlotte, North Carolina, heading northeast at a rapid 23 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
A federal judge rejected a push to extend Floridas voter registration deadline because of Hurricane Michael, saying theres “no justification” to do so. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled late Wednesday against the Florida Democratic Party, which called the Republican-led response to the storms disruption confusing and inadequate.
Video: Vacationers, residents fleeing Florida ahead of Michael
Floridas deadline to register to vote was Tuesday, 29 days ahead of the Nov. 6 election. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner told local election supervisors that if their offices were closed Tuesday due to the hurricane, then they could accept paper applications for a single day once their offices reopen.
A coroner has identified the 11-year-old girl who was killed as Hurricane Michael blew through south Georgia. Seminole County coroner Chad Smith on Thursday identified the girl as Sarah Radney.
Smith said an official cause of death had not been determined but that it would likely be massive blunt force trauma. Seminole County Emergency Management Agency director Travis Brooks said strong winds picked up a portable carport Wednesday and dropped it on the roof of the home sheltering the girl.
President Trump speaks about Hurricane Michael prior to signing a bill into law at the White House in Washington Oct. 11, 2018.
President Trump defended attending a campaign rally on Wednesday night in Pennsylvania as Hurricane Michael raked across Florida. “I couldnt tell people that had been standing in line for a day and a half wanting to get into the arena that Im not going,” the president told reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday morning.
“We had great control over what we were doing, both on Air Force One, at the White House and in Florida,” Mr. Trump said. The president is planning to attend similar rallies in Ohio on Friday night and in Kentucky on Saturday night.
The U.S. Coast Guard in Mobile, Alabama, said its crews have rescued 27 people, mostly from damaged homes. Petty Officer Third Class Ronald Hodges told The Associated Press that a Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew pulled nine people from a bathroom of their Panama City home after their roof collapsed Wednesday afternoon.
Jason's vehicle took a nasty beating near Tyndall AFB (east of Panama City Beach) as the eyewall of Major Hurricane Michael came ashore. This is why you don't shelter in a vehicle during a tornado or major hurricane. pic.twitter.com/fTBUaKOzWu
Crews were out early Thursday searching for more victims. Hodges said the number of rescues remains fluid and there were no reports of deaths so far from the Coast Guards missions.
Video: Local first responders deployed to help Floridians impacted by Hurricane Michael
Florida emergency officials said theyre starting to transfer patients out of damaged health care facilities. Theyre also trying to figure out the extent of damage to roads and bridges.
A huge swath of Interstate 10, the main east-west route near the coast, was blocked off due to damage.
*A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from the Okaloosa/Walton County Line to Anclote River Florida. The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water has the potential to reach the following heights above ground if peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…
Video: 5 AM Update: Hurricane Michael strengthens to dangerous Cat. 4 storm
Florida officials said the states big mental hospital in Chattahoochee was entirely cut off by land, so theyre dropping food and supplies in from the air. The mental hospital has a section that houses the criminally insane, but officials said the facility itself has not been breached.
Video: 5 AM Update: Hurricane Michael strengthens to dangerous Cat. 4 storm
Gov. Rick Scott said people from Floridas Panhandle to the Big Bend woke up to “unimaginable destruction.” He said Hurricane Michael has changed lives forever and “many families have lost everything.”
“This hurricane was an absolute monster,” he said. In Panama City, Bay County emergency management officials said most roads remained blocked by water or debris Thursday morning, so survivors should “stay put and standby.”
As for people outside the disaster zone, officials are asking those moved by images of the destruction to make monetary donations to relief organizations rather than sending supplies.
Authorities are correcting early reports about the death of an 11-year-old girl as Hurricane Michael blew over southwest Georgia. Seminole County Emergency Management Agency director Travis Brooks said it wasnt a tree but a carport that hit her home and killed her.
He said strong winds picked up a portable carport Wednesday and dropped it down on the roof. One of the carports legs punctured the roof and hit the girl in the head.
Brooks said he wasnt able to get out much overnight to fully assess the damage in the county because downed power lines and trees made roads impassable in the darkness. But he said the sheriff told him it looked like a bomb had gone off.
In Panama City, Florida, Hurricane Michael appeared to do its worst, “CBS Evening News” anchor Jeff Glor reports. Some houses and businesses were unrecognizable.
The roof of a school gymnasium was torn open. An entire freight train was pushed clear off the rails.
Sabrina Marshall was inside her home as parts were torn away from her. “And the door just — psssh — and the roof flew off,” she said.
“All we can do is prepare for the worst and pray for the best and go from there. We will rebuild, ” said Vice Mayor of Panama City Beach Phil Chester said.
LIVE UPDATES: Tropical Storm Michael moves through central Georgia after causing heavy damage to Florida | WJAX-TV
Downed trees and tangled power lines have made many streets impassable. “I was in a bunker, almost a bunker,” Karen Hasket said, “and just prayers.”
At Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, the devastation was extensive. An entire roof was stripped from an aircraft hanger.
Hurricane Michael, now a category four storm, is expected to cause serious damage along the Florida Panhandle.
Overturned trucks and debris littered the tarmac. The base commander had ordered an evacuation on Monday.
The Florida Highway Patrol has closed an 80-mile stretch of Interstate 10 to clear debris from Hurricane Michael.
What to expect from Hurricane Michael today
In an email sent early Thursday, spokesman Eddie Elmore said the road was closed “due to extremely hazardous conditions.”
Michael could dump up to a foot (30 centimeters) of rain over some Panhandle communities before its remnants go back out to sea by way of the mid-Atlantic states over the next few days. Forecasters said it also could bring 3 to 6 inches of rain to Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia, triggering flash flooding in a corner of the country still recovering from Florence. And isolated tornadoes were also possible.
Hurricane Michael slams into Florida, charges into Southeast
The agency is working with the Florida Department of Transportation to clear the interstate, which is the major east-west route across northern Florida and the Panhandle.
Florida officials said roughly 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast had been urged or ordered to evacuate. Evacuations spanned 22 counties from the Florida Panhandle into north central Florida. But fears lingered that some failed to heed the calls to get out of Michaels way as the hard-charging storm began speeding north over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Elmore said the road is closed west of Tallahassee, between mile marker 85 near DeFuniak Springs and mile marker 166 near Lake Seminole.
The unexpected brute that quickly sprang from a weekend tropical depression grew swiftly, rising in days to a catastrophic storm. Around midday it was expected to become one of the Panhandles worst hurricanes in memory with heavy rainfall expected along the northeastern Gulf Coast and life-threatening storm surge of up to 13 feet (4 meters).
Michael has left some 664,000 homes and businesses without power as it continues its march over the Southeast.
On the exposed coast of Floridas Big Bend, most of the waterfront homes in Keaton Beach stood vacant amid fears of a life-threatening storm surge in an area that hadnt seen a potentially catastrophic major hurricane in decades. Even so, 77-year-old resident Robert Sadousky wasnt quite ready to evacuate yet.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum lashes out at Donald Trump over Orlando comments: Dont talk trash about my city while were preparing for a hurricane
As of 6 a.m. EDT Thursday, some 323,000 customers had no power in Florida, 60,000 in Alabama, 236,000 in Georgia and 45,000 in South Carolina.
Tropical Storm Michael continued to peter out over eastern Georgia early Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.
As of 5 a.m., the core of the once ferocious Category 4 hurricane was some 30 miles west of Augusta and 90 miles northeast of Macon heading northeast at a brisk 21 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.
The NHC says, “On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move through eastern Georgia into central South Carolina this morning, then moves across portions of central and eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia into the Atlantic Ocean by late tonight or early Friday.
” … Some additional weakening is expected today while the center remains over land. However, Michael is forecast to intensify as it becomes a post-tropical low over the Atlantic latetonight or early Friday.”
As Michael made its way north after slamming the Florida Panhandle, the National Weather Service took to Twitter to offer a critical safety tip to those in the storms path:
Most destructive storm to hit the Florida panhandle in decades
Strong winds overnight tonight across much of southern Georgia will likely result in downed trees. Make sure you and your loved ones are tucked away in a safe spot for the night. #Michael pic.twitter.com/ZyJyhZbwRh
As of 2 a.m. EDT, the once fierce hurricanes core was about 25 miles east of Macon, packing maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and speeding northeast at a 20 mph clip, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane Michael: Fast-moving storm expected to hit NC by morning
The NHC said, “On the forecast track, the core of Michael will move across central and eastern Georgia this morning, and then over southern and central South Carolina later today. Michael will then move northeastward across the southeastern United States and then move off the Mid-Atlantic coast by early Friday.
While tens of thousands of people were busying themselves with storm preparations or heading out of town to escape Hurricane Michael—which made landfall as a devastating Category 4 storm with sustained winds topping 150 mph, and was called the worst-case scenario for the Panhandle by the National Weather Service—Rabbi Mendel and Nechama Danow were just moving into their new home in Pensacola, Fla., where they will serve as Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries.
“Michael will steadily weaken as it crosses the southeastern United States, but it is forecast to re-strengthen some when it moves off the east coast of the United States and becomes apost-tropical cyclone on Friday.”
Seminole County, Georgia emergency officials confirm to CBS News that a child was killed when a tree fell on a home during the storm.
Earlier, a tree that fell during Michael killed someone in Gadsden County, Florida, the Sheriffs Office there told CBS News.
As the storm grew in strength far to the east, sparing Pensacola much of the weather, the Danows opened their three-bedroom home to Rabbi Yeshayahu and Rochel Tenenboim, co-directors of Chabad of the Emerald Coast, and their family who had to evacuate their own home Destin and another community member from Destin who needed a place to go, despite the fact that their kitchen hadnt even been set up yet.
The National Hurricane Center said late Wednesday that Michael had become a tropical storm as it moved over central Georgia. Michael had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph winds as of midnight EDT Thursday and its center was located some 30 miles south-southwest of Macon, Georgia.
In Tallahassee, which is under an extreme wind warning, from the NWS, Rabbi Schneur Zalman and Chana Oirechman, co-directors of Chabad Lubavitch of the Panhandle, were riding out the storm at their Chabad House, along with their children. They also opened their Chabad House to those students from nearby Florida State University who have remained in Tallahassee and dont want to be alone.
The eye of Hurricane Michael will be moving across southern Georgia overnight Wednesday into Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said. The center of the storm was located about 45 miles south-southwest of Macon, Georgia, as of 11 p.m.
The storm is weakening as it moves across Georgia. As of 11 p.m., it had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.
The National Weather Service discontinued the hurricane warning for the Florida Panhandle and storm surge warning has been discontinued west of Panama City and southeast of Keaton Beach.
In another video posted online from Panama City, trees can be seen swaying and snapping from Hurricane Michaels ferocious winds:
CBS News correspondent Nikki Battiste spent the day at a school serving as a shelter where more than 200 people have taken shelter as Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle. Some were rescued Wednesday and brought there for safety.
“Its been too dangerous to leave at all today,” Battiste said. “A tornado has also hit this area causing severe damage. You can hear and feel the wind and rain shaking the doors and the school here and the trees lining the school outside have split in half.”
But this is the whole reason we came—to be here not just in the easy times, but to be here when we are needed and to give help to others, she added.
Florida Panhandle braces for 1st major hurricane in years | WSB-TV
The NHC said in its latest advisory that Hurricane Michael is now a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.
Hurricane Michael coverage: Michael charges into Southeast after slamming north Florida
CBS News weather producer said that Hurricane Michael had gained wind speeds of 55 mph in about a 30 hour time span before making landfall earlier Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.
The storm was located about 20 miles southwest of Albany, Georgia. Damaging winds are tearing through the central and eastern panhandle of Florida and south-central Gerogia. Storm flooding is still occurring along the Gulf Coast.
Hurricane Michael Makes Landfall in Florida Panhandle With 155-mph Winds
NHC said Michael will steadily weaken as it crosses the southeastern United States through Thursday night, becoming a tropical storm by Thursday morning. Michael is forecast to strengthen some Thursday night and Friday when it moves off the east coast of the United States and becomes a post-tropical cyclone Friday.
The NHC said the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, southeast Alabama and portions of southwest and central Georgia could see 4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches. This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods.
The remainder of Georgia, North and South Carolina and into Virginia could see 3 to 6 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches. This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods.
Hurricane Michael falls short of a Category 5 – by just 2 mph
About 1 to 3 inches could fall on the Florida Peninsula, eastern Mid Atlantic and southern New England coast.
A Panhandle man was killed by a tree toppling on a home, Gadsden County Sheriffs Office spokeswoman Anglie Hightower said. But she added emergency crews trying to reach the scene were hampered by downed trees and debris on roadways. The man wasnt immediately identified.
MORE: @jeffglor continues reporting from Panama City Beach, Fla. as Hurricane Michael roars toward the Florida Panhandle; “the time for evacuating along the coast has come and gone,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday morning, advising residents to “hunker down.” pic.twitter.com/pHOTla8IGw
Florida Gov. Rick Scott held a briefing at 6 p.m. ET hour to say officials are “100 percent focused on search and rescue.”
He had earlier warned Floridians: “We are still in the midst of a Category 4 catastrophic and historic storm.”
CBS News reports approximately 288,502 customers are without power in Florida, approximately 40,557 customers without power in Georgia and approximately 41,001 customers without power in Alabama.
Duke Energy, the countrys No. 2 power company that has customers in the path of Hurricane Michael, said the storm could cause some 300,000 to 500,000 power outages. “Complete power restoration from a storm of this magnitude could take several days,” the company wrote on its website.
Customers can report power outages by visiting duke-energy.com, texting OUT to 57801 or calling 1-800-228-8485.
The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Michael is moving further inland, but it remains an extremely dangerous hurricane with many different hazards.
Hurricane Michael: Monstrous storm strengthens to Category 4 hours before landfall
NHC reports in its latest advisory there is “life-threatening storm surge” along portions of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend and Nature Coast. They pointed out the worst of it will be located between Tyndall Air Force Base and Aucilla River — where 5 to 10 feet of surge is ongoing.
NHC also mentioned that Michael will continue to produce “life-threatening flash flooding” in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend regions and into portions of southeast Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina and southeast Virginia.
Hurricane Michael continues to strengthen, projected to hit Florida as Category 4
NHC warned Michael will produce “life-threatening hurricane-force winds” across portions of the Florida Panhandle, southeast Alabama and southwestern Georgia tonight as the “core of the hurricane continues to move inland.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott used a tweet to warn Floridians: “We are still in the midst of a Category 4 catastrophic and historic storm.”
“Stay inside until directed further so that our recovery teams can move in as quickly as possible,” he added.
We are still in the midst of a Category 4 catastrophic and historic storm. I urge all Floridians in the Panhandle to continue sheltering in place, and listening to local authorities. Stay inside until directed further so that our recovery teams can move in as quickly as possible.
President Trump is sticking to his campaign schedule as Hurricane Michael rakes across Florida. The president left the Oval Office at 3:52 p.m. ET on his way to Erie, Pennsylvania, for a “Make America Great Again” rally, CBS News Sara Cook reports.
“I cannot disappoint the thousands of people that are there – and the thousands that are going,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter. The rally is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET.
The president waved to White House reporters, but didnt respond to questions as he walked to Marine One, Cook reports. Earlier Wednesday, Mr. Trump said that he may visit areas affected by Michael early next week.
A trash can and debris are blown down a street by Hurricane Michael on Oct. 10, 2018, in Panama City, Florida. The hurricane made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm.
Hurricane Michael Slams Into Florida, Splintering Homes And Submerging Neighborhoods
The director of the National Hurricane Center said Michael was going to keep its strength even as it moves into Alabama and Georgia. By 4 p.m. ET, Michael had top sustained winds of 140 mph as its core moved over Floridas Panhandle, down from 150 mph an hour earlier.
Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, earlier Wednesday afternoon with 155 mph winds. The hurricane centers Director Ken Graham said that when a storm comes ashore with winds that strong, “its going to stay a hurricane for a while.”
Michaels large size means its winds will continue pushing storm surge inland as well. The hurricane center said a National Ocean Service water level station in Apalachicola has reported storm surge of nearly 8 feet above ground.
Palm trees are seen as Hurricane Michael strikes Panama City, Florida, Oct. 10, 2018, in this picture obtained from social media.
Nearly 6,700 people were in Florida shelters as Hurricane Michael was making landfall, according to a statement from Gov. Rick Scotts office. The state had 54 shelters open.
The state estimated that more than 375,000 Floridians were ordered to evacuate, but officials had expressed concerns about people not heeding evacuation orders. On Wednesday morning, Scott announced that it was too late for people in coastal areas to evacuate and that they should seek shelter instead.
At noon ET, 29,981 power customers had lost electricity, according to Scotts statement. Duke Energy had said Tuesday that it expected between 100,000 and 200,000 of its customers in the Panhandle to lose power.
The National Hurricane Center said Michael intensified as it was making landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, as a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane, pushing a deadly storm surge and whipping the coast with 155 mph winds. Less than an hour before the storm made landfall, the hurricane center said Michael had top sustained winds of 150 mph.
Forecasters mark landfall as the place and time when the center of the eye strikes land. Minutes earlier, Michaels eyewall came ashore between Panama City and St. Vincent Island, and the hurricane center warned everyone inside the relative calm of the eye not to venture outside.
Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 45 miles from the center. Those winds were tearing some buildings apart in Panama City Beach.
Michael strengthens to a Category 4 hurricane
One beachfront structure under construction could be seen collapsing, and metal roofing material flew sideways across parking lots amid sheets of rain.
A satellite image shows Hurricane Michael as it was making landfall in the Florida Panhandle at 1:37 p.m. ET on Oct. 10, 2018.