Hurricane Michael: Strongest storm to hit US since 1992

Hurricane Michael: Strongest storm to hit US since 1992 Izvor: Reuters

After slamming Florida and lashing Georgia, Michael is far from finished as it swirls northeast, threatening the storm-weary Carolinas.

Since making landfall on Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, the now tropical storm has left thousands of people without power, uprooted trees, turned homes and marinas into ruins and killed at least 2 people.

Live updates on Hurricane Michael

"It feels like a nightmare," Linda Albrecht, a councilwoman in Mexico Beach, Florida, said of the catastrophic damage in her town. "Somebody needs to come up and shake you and wake you up."

The wrath of Michael continued into Georgia, bringing possible tornadoes and winds that kept first responders away from the streets for hours --- even as the storm weakened and became a tropical storm.

On Thursday, authorities and residents will begin to discover the full extent of Michael's destruction in Florida and Georgia while the Carolinas brace for possible flooding, tornadoes and dangerous winds in many of the same areas still recovering from Hurricane Florence flooding.

Michael is expected to drop 4 to 7 inches of rain from eastern Georgia to the southern Mid-Atlantic and up to 9 inches of rain in isolated parts of North Carolina and Virginia, the National Hurricane Center said.

"While we will not see the full force of Hurricane Michael the way Florida will, we could see gusty winds, rain, flash flooding and even tornadoes," South Carolina Emergency Management Director Kim Stenson told CNN affiliate WACH.

Key developments

• Death toll rises: At least 2 people were killed in storm-related incidents since Wednesday.

• No power, no internet: More than 500,000 customers remain without electricity in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

• Where is Michael? The storm is about 30 miles west of Augusta, Georgia and is heading toward the northeast before it goes off into the Atlantic.

• Looters arrested: Arrests have been made after reports of looting in Bay County, Florida, Congressman Neal Dunn said.

 Historic storm: Michael is the third most intense hurricane to hit the continental US since 1851 based on its low central pressure, CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said.

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