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UPDATE: Hurricane Michael downgraded to tropical storm after ripping through Florida and Georgia

(UPDATE: Oct. 11 @ 6:45 a.m.) - Hurricane Michael has passed through Florida, but the damage has been done.

The storm battered the Florida Panhandle and other areas of the state on Wednesday, causing widespread damage.

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It first made landfall just west of Mexico Beach as a strong category four hurricane, with wind speeds measured around 155 mph.

Michael was the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Florida Panhandle, at least since records started to be kept in 1851.

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While Florida saw a lot of rain, it was Calhoun, GA that saw the most, with 6.63 of precipitation falling during the storm on Wednesday.

It was also Georgia that has reported the only two deaths from the storm, according to the Associated Press, which includes an 11-year-old girl in the southwest part of the state.

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Currently, Michael is moving into South Carolina as a tropical storm.

The Carolinas were devastated by Hurricane Florence last month, but Michael won't hit the two states nearly as hard as that storm.

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There's still the potential of flash flooding and a tropical storm warning remains in effect for these areas, says the National Hurricane Center.

NowMedia will continue to update this story as more information is made available.

(UPDATE: Oct. 10 @ 10:55 a.m.) - Hurricane Michael’s has made landfall just northwest of Mexico Beach, Florida and the intensifying storm could be catastrophic.

Today, the hurricane has reached wind speeds of more than 230 kilometres per hour, making it the most powerful storm on record to menace the Florida Panhandle

Colorado State University hurricane expert Phil Klotzbach said he fears for what the area is going to look like when the sun rises on Thursday.

“The time to evacuate has come and gone,” tweeted Florida Gov. Rick Scott. “SEEK REFUGE IMMEDIATELY.”

Rainfall could reach up to 30 centimetres and the storm surge could swell to four metres, with seawater starting to lap over the docks near Panama City several hours before landfall.

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Marshall Shepherd, a former president of the American Meteorological Society, called Michael a “life-altering event,” writing on social media that he watched the storm’s growth on satellite images with a pit in his stomach.

This is a developing story and NowMedia will update it as more information becomes available.

With files from the Canadian Press.

(Original story: Oct. 9 @ 7:15 a.m.) - When Hurricane Michael makes landfall, likely in the next 24 hours, it’s forecasted to do so as a major hurricane.

That means the storm will have wind speeds greater than 110 miles per hour and could create storm surges of more than 10 feet in some coastal areas.

“The window of time to prepare is closing,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott today. This is a serious and life-threatening situation- don’t take any chances. If you have been told to evacuate, leave.

A hurricane warning has been issued for the Florida Gulf Coast and many cities and communities have been issued evacuation orders.

Overnight, Michael is producing heavy rainfall and flash flooding in portions of western Cuba as a tropical storm.

It’s now been upgraded to a hurricane as it bears down on Florida.

Michael is expected to make landfall on Wednesday morning and pass through Florida by Thursday, hitting Georgia and the Carolinas as a tropical storm.

NowMedia will update this story as it develops.



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