Visuals of How Much Damage Hurricane Michael Inflicted on the Gulf Coast

Image from International Space Station of Hurricane Michael | NASA via Reuters

Image from International Space Station of Hurricane Michael | NASA via Reuters

The strength and ferocity of Hurricane Michael has caught Florida by surprise when it smashed into the coast of Florida.

SAINT MARKS, FL - OCTOBER 10: The Cooter Stew Cafe starts taking water in the town of Saint Marks as Hurricane Michael pushes the storm surge up the Wakulla and Saint Marks Rivers which come together here on October 10, 2018 in Saint Marks, Florida.

"Hurricane Michael is the worst storm that the Florida Panhandle has ever seen", said governor Rick Scott of Florida, where 375,000 people were ordered evacuated from the western part of the state.

As the Category 4 storm's center crossed nearby, Mulligan said, her concrete complex shook and vibrated against sustained winds of around 155 miles per hour.

The Coast Guard said it rescued at least 27 people before and after the hurricane came ashore, mostly from homes along the Florida coastline, and searched for more victims. "There were several times I thought maybe I should have left".

The storm has already killed a man in Florida and a girl in Georgia.

"The entire county was "pitch black" and there were no clear roads", he said. "We had the inside windows kind of barricaded in with mattresses", Beu said.

"You can't drive a auto anywhere, you can't do anything because it's littered with houses, pieces of houses", said Patricia Mulligan, who rode out the storm with her family in a condo in Mexico Beach, a town of mom-and-pop shops and sport-fishing businesses about 56km southeast of Panama City. Even so, 77-year-old resident Robert Sadousky wasn't quite ready to evacuate yet. He added: "So many lives have been changed forever".

The combination of those devastating conditions left homes in Mexico Beach destroyed and submerged in water.

Scientists say global warming is responsible for more intense and more frequent extreme weather, such as storms, droughts, floods and fires. No longer. Michael was expected to bring surging seas up 9 feet (2.75 meters) above ground level at Keaton Beach.

Linda Marquardt, 67, rode out the storm with her husband at their home in Mexico Beach. He pulled two small boat docks from the water, packed his pickup and picked some beans from his garden before getting out - like hundreds of thousands elsewhere. It also was about 200 miles (325 kilometers) south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida.

More than 180,000 people of those leaving were under mandatory evacuation orders, the long lines of cars jamming routes out Tuesday.

Two people have reportedly died due to the hurricane. "I didn't want to leave them and I felt that I needed to be here".

Scott said one benefit of the rapidly moving Michael was that it hit during the day and was out of the state before sunset.

At the White House, President Donald Trump said, "God bless everyone because it's going to be a rough one", he said. Do not think you can survive it.

But some officials were anxious by what they weren't seeing - a rush of evacuees. But he said the sheriff told him it looked like a bomb had gone off.

Mexico Beach is "gone".

Element nearly erased from the face of the earth in the town of Mexico beach. "This might be really bad and serious". But without extensive study, they can not directly link a single weather event to the changing climate. That included Pensacola Beach but not in Pensacola itself, a city of about 54,000.

Michael's core is expected to move off the mid-Atlantic coast late Thursday or early Friday.

Michael was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday, but warnings about heavy rain continue in North Carolina.

Forecasters in Alabama warned of possible tornados.

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