Watch Hurricane Michael make landfall on Florida webcams

A damaged pickup truck is surrounded by wreckage and debris in Mexico Beach Florida

A structure in Panama City Beach was no match for Michael's winds, as the home under construction collapsed an hour prior to the Category 4 storm's eyewall coming ashore.

Rick Reichmuth, Fox News' chief meteorologist, said Michael was the fourth most powerful storm to ever make landfall in the U.S.in terms of wind, and the third most powerful in terms of pressure, at 919 mb.

Meanwhile, tropical storm warnings were in effect for parts of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

She said: "I'm anxious about my daughter and grandbaby".

A vehicle is seen caught in floodwaters in Panama City, Fla.

As many as 20,000 people are expected to be in emergency shelters in the state by the end of the week.

Half a million people were advised to evacuate, but officials said Wednesday morning that it was too late to flee and residents who haven't already left should hunker down.

As it moves to the northeast, the storm's winds will continue to lose strength, according to the National Weather Service.

Hurricane Michael's trail of devastation is starting to become apparent.

The storm, which has sustained winds of 60 mph, was about 25 miles east of Macon, Ga., the National Hurricane Center said in a 2 a.m. ET advisory.

"Those who stick around to experience storm surge don't typically live to tell about it unfortunately", said FEMA's Long.

Damaged property seen after Hurricane Michael passes Panama City Florida on Oct 10 2018

"We thought the windows were going to break at the time".

"We haven't seen her since the tree hit the den".

"Our biggest concern is... the people that chose not to evacuate", he told CNN.

As the Tallahassee office of the National Weather Service said on Twitter earlier Wednesday: "If you're not sheltered in place now, you need to be!" "Do not risk your life, leave NOW if you were told to do so", it said.

"This happened so quickly, we weren't exactly prepared", he said.

Surges of as high as 14 feet are expected around where Michael made landfall near Apalachicola, Florida.

There have been mandatory evacuations of several coastal counties in Florida, so the full extent of the damage will not be clear until later today.

Trump declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Florida, freeing up federal assistance to supplement state and local disaster responses. Search and rescue crews were expected to escalate efforts to reach hardest-hit areas and check for anyone trapped or injured in the storm debris.

Forecasters said it would unleash damaging wind and rain all the way into the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence's epic flooding. It was the most powerful hurricane on record to hit the Panhandle.

As the hurricane moves out of Florida, Scott warned that flash floods and tornadoes are still possibilities and said "the weather is still extremely risky".

Sally Crown rode out Michael on the Florida Panhandle thinking at first that the worst damage was the many trees downed in her yard. Much of the affected area is rural and known for small tourist cities, beaches and wildlife reserves, as well as the state capital, Tallahassee, home to about 190,000 people. A pine tree punched a hole in their roof and his ears even popped when the barometric pressure went lower.

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