THE LATEST ON MICHAEL:
- Michael weakened and became a Tropical Storm Thursday morning
- The storm is pushing across Georgia and the Carolinas at 50 mph
- Bay County among the hardest-hit areas as fast-moving Hurricane Michael moved inland Wednesday
The monstrous Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida around 1:38 p.m. ET Wednesday with 155 mph winds and was only 2 mph shy of a Category 5 hurricane.
The 12 a.m. Thursday advisory from the National Hurricane Center stated Michael weakened and became a Tropical Storm as it made its way over south-central Georgia.
It is currently charging Georgia and the Carolinas with wind speeds at 50 mph.
There have been at least two deaths due to Michael, officials said. The Gadsden County Sheriff's Office said a Florida Panhandle man was killed by a falling tree that went through his house and trapped him during Hurricane Michael.
An 11-year-old Georgia girl died Wednesday afternoon when a tree fell onto a home.
A curfew has been implement until 8 a.m. in Bay County due to concerns about looting due to the widespread power outages local deputies told Action News Jax reporter in Panama City.
State authorities said it could take up to a week to get power restored in some areas, although Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that repairing the grid is a top priority once first responders can get into communities damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Michael
Damaging winds are still occurring across the central and eastern panhandle of Florida and Southwestern and South-Central Georgia. There is still major flooding along the gulf coast.
Dozens of JEA crews left to go the Panhandle Thursday morning to restore powers to thousands of residents.
Action News Jax reporter Danielle Avitable covered Hurricane Michael's path through Tallahassee. She said close to 100,000 were reported without power in Tallahassee Wednesday.
President Donald Trump recognized our local police station for its support efforts after Hurricane Michael.
OFFICIAL SITE: National Hurricane Center
The storm was among the most powerful ever to hit Florida. There was heavy damage concentrated in heavily-populated Bay County, which includes Panama City, Panama City Beach and Mexico Beach.
Mexico Beach was particularly hard-hit (see photos of the damage).
Tallahassee, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Hermine in 2016, was hit again but avoided a direct hit. But many trees were downed in the state capital, and around 62,000 customers were without power.
President Trump said Wednesday that he will visit the Florida Panhandle in a few days to survey damage.
Hurricane Michael remained a Category 3 storm as it quickly moved across Florida and into Georgia. It's expected to soak the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.
Life-threatening storm surge and catastrophic winds continue as the eye moves across Georgia.
Tornado warnings sounded in the Atlanta metro area around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Michael will continue to move mainly to the northeast and will emerge over water again, the Atlantic, early Friday, where it is expected to intensify as an extra tropical system and move away from land fast.
Cox Media Group