On Wednesday, Hurricane Michael suddenly grew from a mere tropical depression, just three days earlier, to a Category 4 storm. Reporters on site were seen struggling to stay on their feet as the winds blew.
The hurricane came ashore near Mexico Beach, Florida, in the afternoon. It had maximum winds of 155 mph which caused massive damage in its path.
With winds of 155 mph, Hurricane Michael has become one of the strongest October storms on record. Just as the storm was about to make landfall, The National Weather Service in Tallahassee issued its first-ever extreme wind warning.
The storm exploded in strength overnight becoming a Category 4 storm. Many areas close to and around Florida's Panhandle have been rendered without power and local news reporters were forced to work in the dark.
For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. According to reporter Tyler Allender from the Panama City news station WJHG/WECP, his colleagues were taking shelter in a hallway in the middle of the building because "This wind is SERIOUS."
The storm has been responsible for peeling off roofs and ripping homes from their foundations. Hurricane Michael could become the third-strongest hurricane to hit the continental US.
Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith had this to say:
"We're kind of getting crushed. It's horrific."
One fatality was reported on Wednesday night in Gadsden County, near Tallahassee. Officials said a man was found dead in his home after a tree crashed through the roof.
The hurricane’s winds have snapped trees and thrown down power lines. Mexico Beach has experienced massive waves and heavy flooding while Panama City’s homes were shredded and boats thrown about.
Marianna, Florida, has also faced the brunt of the storm. Chad Taylor, 66, a land manager in Marianna said:
"I had a yard full of 20-inch pine trees and there's not one left standing. I can see for miles and miles.”
President Donald Trump had this to say about the hurricane:
"It's like a big tornado, a massive tornado."
He added that the storm "grew into a monster."
According to records, Michael was the most powerful tropical storm ever to hit the Florida Panhandle since1851. The other two were the 1935 Labor Day storm that hit Florida Keys, and 1969 Hurricane Camille which killed hundreds when it hit coastal Mississippi.