Unscathed by Hurricane Michael, Lake City friends test their luck

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Storm surge is going to be the worse where eye makes landfall - just to the east or south of where the eye makes landfall... The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Leslie and Tropical Storm Nadine are no threat to land over the open Atlantic Ocean, but Tropical Storm Sergio is expected to hit Mexico's Baja California Peninsula later this week and threaten the southern U.S. Plains and the Ozarks by the weekend.

Power was out in almost 90 percent of Bay County, which includes Panama City, as night fell Wednesday.

The Panhandle is the most impoverished region of Florida, and this kind of a storm would be hard to overcome even for wealthy communities.

More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were warned to evacuate, but many stayed behind.

The child's death is the second known storm-related death.

"Those who stick around to experience storm surge don't typically live to tell about it unfortunately", said FEMA's Long. We thought the windows were going to break at any time.

It has now weakened to a tropical storm over south-central Georgia.

Hurricane Michael weakened to a Category 1 storm late Wednesday as it moved across south-central Georgia with maximum sustained winds of about 75 miles per hour.

Hurricane Michael has forced thousands of residents to flee their homes.

The hurricane's peak winds were at 145kmh as it moved north-north west at 19kmh.

Megan Williams, left, and roommate Kaylee O'Brian take belongings from their destroyed home after several trees fell on the house during Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Florida.

"Where homes were, they are not", Ginger Zee, ABC's chief meteorologist, said in a video posted on Twitter.

Even before Michael made full landfall, it was whipping trees with its winds and had caused flooding in the town of Apalachicola, where more than 5 feet (1.5 meters) of water was reported, and about 20 miles away (32 km) in Port St. Joe.

Only three major hurricanes have made landfall in the Florida Panhandle since 1950, Eloise in 1975, Opal in 1995 and Dennis in 2005.

"This is a full month later than we've ever seen a hurricane with anywhere near this strength", he said.

Its winds shrieking, the Category 4 storm crashed ashore in the early afternoon near Mexico Beach, a tourist town about midway along the Panhandle, a lightly populated, 200-mile stretch of white-sand beach resorts, fishing towns and military bases.

The storm is expected to drop as much as 12 inches of rain in some areas of the state before continuing its path north into Georgia and moving northward into southeastern New England Thursday night and Friday.

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. It also set off transformer explosions and knocked out power to more than 190,000 homes and businesses. It was only two miles per hour slower than a Category 5.

Characterized by strong winds and heavy rainfall, the hurricane of 1930 caused severe damage to the Dominican Republic.

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