The storm is moving north-northeast at 16 miles per hour and is likely to remain a strong hurricane through Wednesday night as the system is expected to move through parts of Georgia and into the Carolinas. Michael was the most intense storm to hit the United States this late in the year by over a month, Masters said. Widespread power outages are expected to stretch from parts of the Florida panhandle up through Georgia as well as the Carolinas, but anyone within reach of the storm's rapid winds should be prepared to be without power at some point over the next few days.
People seek safety in a shelter as Hurricane Michael approaches, October 10, 2018, in Panama City, Fla.
A day after the supercharged storm crashed ashore amid white sand beaches, fishing towns and military bases, Michael was no longer a Category 4 monster packing 155 miles per hour winds.
Corelogic noted the compact nature of hurricane Michael, which will have limited the size of the swathe of damage on landfall, but the storm surge has impacted a wide area from Mobile, AL to Tampa, FL, with the maximum storm surge anticipated to be east of Panama City to coastal cities south of Tallahassee, the firm said.
"We are catching some hell" was how a Panama City Beach resident who chose to ride it out described Michael as it made landfall.
One storm-related death has been confirmed.
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The governor didn't wait for damage assessments before seeking federal assistance from President Donald Trump for 14 counties: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor and Wakulla. The hurricane is forecast to hit the Florida Panhandle at a possible category 4 storm. "This is the worst storm that the Florida Panhandle has seen in more than 100 years", said Florida Governor Rick Scott. More than 40,000 people lost power across the state.
For insurance-linked security (ILS) and catastrophe bond interests though, this initial estimate perhaps will give some comfort that the impacts to the sector will not be particularly significant, compared to a similarly severe storm impacting an area of Florida with higher levels of property density and exposure. "We haven't seen as robust of an evacuation response from the civilian population that we have seen in other storms".
Hurricane Michael has weakened to a tropical storm early Thursday as it hovers over south-central Georgia, The National Hurricane Center said.
A hurricane warning remains in place from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida.
"This situation has NEVER happened before", it said on Twitter.
Charlotte is expected to get about 3.7 inches of rain Thursday, with about an inch more to the north and west in towns including Statesville, Gastonia and Salisbury. Neighborhood streets flooded as waves battered the shoreline. Thousands hunkered down in shelters overnight after fleeing their homes to escape the fast-approaching storm.