‘Nothing left’ after Hurricane Michael’s rampage on Florida Panhandle

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Most of the rain was blamed on a low-pressure system off the Pacific coast, but Michael in the Caribbean could have also contributed.

"This is the worst it's ever been", she said.

The hurricane also damaged hospitals and nursing homes in the Panama City area, and officials worked to evacuate hundreds of patients. Michael brought 155+ mile-per-hour winds to the area, causing heavy blowing rain, powerful gusty winds, and crashing waves.

"If you decide to stay in your home and a tree falls on your house or the storm surge catches you and you're now calling for help, there's no one that can respond to help you, " Morgan said at a news conference.

At least seven people were killed by the storm in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina from falling trees and other hurricane-related incidents, according to state officials.

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center in hard-hit Panama City, 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Mexico Beach, was treating some of the injured.

"It swamped streets, bent trees, stripped away limbs and leaves, knocked out power, shredded awnings and sent other building debris flying".

Almost 850,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida, Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia on Thursday.

At Jinks Middle School in Panama City, the storm peeled back part of the gym roof and tore off one wall, leaving the wooden floor covered in water.

A Hurricane Warning is still in place in coastal Bay County, Florida. The second floor of some apartments are just gone.

"I have had employees going to the communities where our kids live, going door to door and checking", Principal Britt Smith said by phone.

The storm made landfall on the Florida Panhandle Wednesday afternoon as one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the U.S. The intense Category 4 hurricane was packing maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour when it crashed ashore near Mexico Beach, a lightly populated tourist town about midway along the Panhandle.

As of 11 p.m. Thursday, Michael's core was located about 15 miles north-northeast of Norfolk, Virginia, and was moving northeast at 25 mph, according to the National Hurricane Centre (NHC).

Thousands of people hunkered down in shelters overnight after fleeing their homes ahead of the storm. "So many families have lost everything", he said.

Much of downtown Port St. Joe, 12 miles (19 km) east of Mexico Beach, was flooded after Michael snapped boats in two and hurled a large ship onto the shore, residents said. Wind damage was also evident. Downed power lines lay almost everywhere.

Below is another video taken in Mexico Beach during Hurricane Michael.

Brad Rippey, a meteorologist for the U.S. Agriculture Department, said Michael severely damaged cotton, timber, pecan and peanut crops, causing estimated liabilities as high as $1.9 billion and affecting up to 3.7 million crop acres (1.5 million hectares). On Thursday, oil producers were checking production platforms and beginning to return crews to more than 90 offshore facilities that had been evacuated.

With the storm next entering the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico, which has warm water and favorable atmospheric conditions, "there is a real possibility that Michael will strengthen to a major hurricane before landfall, " Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the Miami-based storm forecasting hub, wrote in an advisory.

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