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Hurricane Michael kills one in Florida: county official

Hurricane Michael kills one in Florida: county official

Fast-moving Michael, a Category 4 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale when it came ashore, was about 8 km northwest of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, at 8 pm, with top sustained winds of 50 miles (80 kph) as it headed for the Atlantic coast, the US National Hurricane Center said.

Michael made landfall at about 1:40 p.m. Wednesday near desolate Mexico Beach, Florida.

This time, the Panama City school was ripped apart by Michael. The National Hurricane Centre warned of possible spinoff tornadoes and heavy rains in Alabama and Georgia, before the storm heads for SC, already soaked by Hurricane Florence in September.

After Michael left the Panhandle late Wednesday, Kaylee O'Brien was crying as she sorted through the remains of the apartment she shared with three roommates at Whispering Pines apartments, where the smell of broken pine trees was thick in the air.

The youngest of four until her father remarried and had two more daughters, Sarah loved being around her big family and made everything more fun, Roy and Amber Radney said in phone interviews with The Associated Press on Thursday.

She was an 11 year old girl and was killed when some type of debris fell on the home, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

At least two deaths were blamed on Michael, and it wasn't done yet: Though weakened into a tropical storm, it continued to bring heavy rain and blustery winds to the South as it pushed inland, soaking areas still recovering from last month's Hurricane Florence. The storm had top sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (96 kph) and was moving to the northeast at 20 miles per hour (32 kph).

Communications outages and roads blocked by downed trees, strewn power lines and debris made it hard to get an overall assessment on Thursday of the damage wrought by Michael, but the initial picture was grim. Darkness concealed the full extent of the damage left behind, but a second death was reported early Thursday, apparently caused by debris crashing through a mobile home and killing a child inside. They said it could take weeks before it's safe for personnel and their families to return.

The rating agency also said that it, "Does not anticipate a large number of rating actions related to Hurricane Michael, as catastrophic events such as this one already have been considered in insurance companies' current ratings and outlooks". On Thursday, Michael was drenching the Carolinas with heavy rains as it headed toward the Atlantic Ocean as a tropical storm.




Images of the destruction in coastal Florida towns circulated widely Wednesday night, shocking even seasoned storm chasers and weather watchers.

"Hurricane Michael can not break Florida", Scott vowed.

"The historical record, going back to 1851, finds no Category 4 hurricane ever hitting the Florida panhandle".

"The National Hurricane Center reported maximum sustained winds near 150 miles per hour with the potential to bring risky storm surge and heavy rains to the Florida panhandle area".

Mexico Beach is on the west end of what's called Florida's Forgotten Coast, so named because it is not heavily developed like numerous state's other shoreline areas, with their lavish homes and high-rise condos and hotels.

There were moments of glory for Gulf Coast surfers, however, as Florida Panhandlers like Sterling Spencer were able to squeeze in sessions at novelty spots before the storm became an imminent threat. Her 1-year-old Siamese cat, Molly, was missing. He said he plans to visit storm-ravaged areas as soon as he can.

FEMA director Brock Long said Thursday Mexico Beach, Fla., took the brunt of the storm and is "ground zero".

It was the strongest to hit the continental United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Further hindering rescue efforts were trees that had crashed into homes.

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