The Slatest

Scenes of Destruction as Hurricane Michael Accelerates Into Florida Coast, Catching Many by Surprise

A man takes some tobacco products from a damaged store after hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida.
A man takes some tobacco products from a damaged store after hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

After accelerating through the Gulf of Mexico over the past two days and slamming the coast of Florida Wednesday afternoon, making it the fiercest storm to hit the state since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Hurricane Michael left a trail of destruction as it churned through Georgia. The Category 4 storm hit the Florida panhandle with winds registering up to 155 mph, just two mph short of Category 5 status, but enough to make it the third-most powerful storm ever to hit mainland U.S. There has been only one reported casualty, as of Wednesday evening. Nearly 500,000 people are without power across Alabama, Georgia, and Florida as residents along the storm’s expected path through the Carolinas braced for strong winds and heavy rainfall from the weakened storm.