Michael weakened to a tropical storm yesterday after wreaking havoc along Florida's Gulf Coast, flooding homes and streets, ripping away roofs and snapping trees and power lines as it roared ashore as a raging Category 4 hurricane.
Two deaths were blamed on the hurricane -- one in Florida and one in Georgia as the storm raced across the neighboring state, heading northeast.
Florida officials said Michael, packing winds of 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour), was the most powerful storm to hit the state's Panhandle area since record-keeping began more than a century ago. It was also one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit the United States.
On its current track the storm is headed for the Carolinas, where cities and towns are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.
After being battered for nearly three hours by strong winds and heavy rains, roads in Panama City were virtually impassable and trees, satellite dishes and traffic lights lay in the streets.
Nearly 370,000 people were left without power, mostly in Florida, but also Alabama and Georgia, news reports said.