Video Shows Hurricane Michael Ripping Apart Buildings in Florida

09:00 UTC shows Hurricane Michael off the US Gulf Coast.- Hurricane Michael closed in on Florida's Gulf Coast

The most powerful hurricane on record to hit Florida's Panhandle left wide destruction and at least one person dead and wasn't almost finished Thursday as it crossed Georgia toward the Carolinas, still reeling from epic flooding in Hurricane Florence.

The governors of North and SC urged residents to brace for more heavy rain and storm-force winds as Michael plows northward up the Atlantic seaboard.

And some roads may also be blocked by downed power lines.

O'Shaughnessy said 2,216 active duty personnel had been pre-positioned ahead of the storm, along with 32 helicopters, 240 high-water vehicles and 32 swift water boats. We thought the windows were going to break at any time.

Ricketts called for Michael to be a tropical depression, or a post-tropical depression, by the time it gets to the WTOP listening area, and to be pushed off the coast of Virginia by the cold front.

Michael has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it continues slamming Georgia with heavy rain and unsafe winds.

Diane Farris, 57, and her son walked to a high school-turned-shelter near their Panama City home, where about 1,100 people crammed into a space meant for about half as many. "I didn't expect all this", said Bill Manning, 63, a grocery clerk who left his camper van in Panama City to move into a hotel where the power eventually went out. 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.

An estimated 375,000 people in more than 20 counties were ordered or advised to evacuate.

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Scientists have long warned that global warming will make storms more destructive, and some say the evidence for this may already be visible. Forecasters said it will unleash damaging wind and rain all the way into the Carolinas, still recovering from Hurricane Florence's epic flooding.

The evacuation order remains in effect until further notice. "Do not risk your life, leave NOW if you were told to do so", it said.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican running for the US Senate in November's congressional elections, declared a state of emergency in 35 Florida counties.

It made landfall on the coast as a Category 1 hurricane on September 14 and drenched some parts of the state with 101cm (40 inches) of rain.

A year ago saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Harvey, which caused a record-equaling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.

Major cities such as Houston were flooded, causing as much as $300 billion in damage, according to estimates.

More than 17,000 people tuned into the broadcast, including Sen.

But Kottlowski noted that meteorologists are still analyzing Hurricane Michael, and it's possible that it will be retroactively upgraded to Category 5 status based on wind speeds. Wind damage was also evident.

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