USC closes campus ahead of Hurricane Michael

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Long after landfall, Hurricane Michael's impact is still being felt along the Florida coast and much further inland, and the recovery process is going to be long and hard for those who lost homes and property to Michael's devastating winds and water.

When she looks outside, she sees damage that reminds her of Andrew, damage that could take as long to rebound from.

A auto is seen caught in floodwaters in Panama City, Fla.

In Panama City, 32 km northwest of Mexico Beach, buildings were crushed and boats were scattered around. "We worked all night in endangered circumstances".

"We had about 280 residents who made the decision not to evacuate", said Mexico Beach Administrator Tanya Castor.

The death, in an area west of state capital Tallahassee, was the first confirmed since Michael made landfall.

The storm was the strongest to ever hit the Panhandle and the fourth Category 4 storm to hit the U.S.in the past 15 months.

With winds of 155mph and a storm surge of nearly 14 feet, the hurricane has left a trail of destruction more than 100 miles wide at its immediate point of impact and stretching in excess of 200 miles inland into southern Georgia, where it finally subsided into a rain-heavy tropical storm.

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

"It really started as a tropical storm, and then it went to Category 1, then it was Category 2 and before you know it, it was Category 4", O'Shaughnessy said.

Authorities said a falling tree killed a man outside Tallahassee, Florida, and an 11-year-old girl in Georgia was killed when the winds picked up a carport and dropped it on her home.

Eastern time. The US Energy Information Administration said about 388,000 customers in Florida, 46,000 customers in Georgia, and 45,000 customers in Alabama were in the dark as the storm moved inland. Just shy of a Category 5 storm, Michael was the most powerful hurricane on record to hit Florida's Panhandle.

"The wind that came through here was surreal. There are now 3 ROCA registrants in Tallahassee, Florida, 9 ROCA registrants in Panama City, Florida, 279 ROCA registrants in the state of Georgia, 36 ROCA registrants in the state of Alabama, and 60 ROCA registrants in the state of SC". Only 5,000 or so have showed up at shelters, suggesting that a large number of people ignored officials' advice, he said.

Only a couple of hours after Michael came ashore, floodwaters were more than 7-1/2 feet (2.3 meters) deep near Apalachicola on Florida's Panhandle, National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said. Wind damage was also evident.

"Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed".

Michael, which decreased to a tropical storm overnight, is continuing to weaken as it moves along the southeast US coast.

At the time, its maximum sustained wind speeds were measuring around 155 miles per hour, making it the strongest hurricane on record to directly hit that part of The Sunshine State. Only Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969 and the so-called Labor Day hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys were more intense.

Trump issued an emergency declaration for Florida, freeing up federal funds for relief operations and providing the assistance of FEMA, which has more than 3,000 people on the ground.

A National Guard team found 20 survivors there overnight and more crews were working through the wreckage on Thursday.

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