This is what Hurricane Michael looks like from space

Long said many Florida buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Hurricane Michael is forecast to deliver catastrophic damage to Gulf County in the Panhandle of Florida, Southern Bay County in the Panhandle of Florida and Southwestern Franklin County in the Big Bend of are of Florida.

As of 11 a.m. EDT, Michael was centered about 35 miles (60 kilometers) south of Charlotte, North Carolina, with winds of 50 mph (85 kph).

Michael thrashed Georgia as a hurricane and eventually weakened to a tropical storm early Thursday as it moved toward the Carolinas, soaking areas that got swamped last month by Hurricane Florence.

9 inches: Maximum amount of rain that Michael could bring to isolated areas from Virginia to North Carolina.

But here are ten reasons to FEAR Hurricane Michael.

One death has been confirmed in Georgia. Four pine trees had crashed through the roof of her apartment, almost hitting two people.

It appeared to be so powerful that it remained a hurricane as it moved into south Georgia early Thursday.

Seminole County is "pitch black", in "complete and total devastation", Travis Brooks, director of Seminole County's Emergency Management Agency told ABC News.

Michael's barometric pressure at landfall was 919 millibars, by that measurement the third-strongest hurricane to hit the US on record, trailing on the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969.

Research by Francis of Rutgers suggests that warming in the Arctic could be weakening the jet stream in ways that, in the summer, can deprive weather systems like hurricanes of the atmospheric push that keeps them moving; those factors, she said, may have been at play in the unusual pokiness of Harvey and Florence. He chose the spot where his house stands on tall stilts overlooking the Gulf waters in 1972 after it was the only lot left dry after a storm flooded the beach that year. Her home is still standing, unlike others, she said. Gulf County in the Panhandle of Florida. The soil in many areas is saturated. Its largest city is Pensacola, with a population approaching half a million. "Dangerous storm surge continues along the coast of the Florida Panhandle".

For residents who want to leave, local authorities are stressing timely evacuation, too.

Colleen Swab, her mother and her young daughter took shelter in a closet in Panama City Beach, Florida. "We thought the windows were going to break at any time", Beu said. "I don't think anyone would have experienced this in the Panhandle", meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com told The Associated Press. "I don't suggest trying to ride out a storm".

According to officials, one person was killed on Wednesday after a tree fell on a house near Greensboro, Florida. Heavy rainfall will drench Florida's Panhandle, Alabama, Georgia and SC; up to 12 inches is possible in isolated locations. More than 900,000 customers were left without power in the southeastern United States.

Federal officials were anxious that the fast-moving nature of the storm didn't give residents enough time to get out. It's expected to strengthen to a Category 3 or even 4 by Wednesday afternoon. The Florida National Guard has over 4,000 more Guard members available for deployment, Scott said.

Two people have reportedly died due to the hurricane. "Everyone in these areas is reminded not to venture out into the relative calm of the eye, as hazardous winds will increase very quickly as the eye passes!" the NHC said in a warning at 2 p.m.

Similar issues were arising at nursing homes, and crews were flying in supplies to Florida State Hospital at Chattahoochee, which serves patients with mental illness.

  • Carolyn Briggs