At least one person died after being hit by an uprooted tree. But they're still searching areas near the coast as well as counties near the Georgia border that were hit hard by Michael's catastrophic winds. One veteran storm chaser said that Panama City was so badly damaged it looked like it had been struck by a bomb, according to the Washington Post.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio said restoring power was going to be "long & difficult" as the storm "shredded" its electric grid.
Trump, who is expected to visit the region as early as Sunday, said he would be "totally focused" on the storm but would not cancel a Wednesday night campaign rally in Pennsylvania. National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Willis said there were two confirmed tornado touchdowns in the state: one in southwest Atlanta and another in Crawford County in central Georgia.
Major flooding is expected on the Haw River and moderate flooding on the Tar and Rocky rivers on Thursday and Friday.
On Thursday, oil producers were checking production platforms and beginning to return crews to more than 90 offshore facilities that had been evacuated.
However, the center said, winds have picked up at certain points along the Georgia and SC coast.
The storm is likely to fire up the debate over global warming.
Some parts of the Carolinas and southern Virginia, recently deluged by Hurricane Florence, could see up to 6 inches, the hurricane center said. "It destroyed everything", Jason Gunderson, a member of the Cajun Navy, a group of rescue workers, told CNN early Thursday from Callaway, a suburb of Panama City in the Florida Panhandle. Michael grew from a tropical storm into a Category 4 hurricane over the course of about 40 hours. It was a clear warning that the storm should be taken seriously. A gauge on one offshore buoy recorded a wind gust of almost hurricane strength.
It does remain important to note that hurricane Michael is still an ongoing loss event and claims filing, assessment and quantification will take some time, especially given the rapid inland track with hurricane force winds.
CBS News reports that the storm also cause storm surges of up to six to 14 feet in some areas. Flash flooding may continue meanwhile in the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic states.
The child's name hasn't been released.
The Coast Guard said it rescued at least 27 people before and after the hurricane came ashore, mostly from homes along the Florida coastline, and searched for more victims.
An 11-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell onto her home as brutal Hurricane Michael tore through Georgia, officials said Thursday. A driver in North Carolina was killed when a tree fell on his vehicle. But she added emergency crews trying to reach the home were hampered by downed trees and debris blocking roadways.
NASA said: "Cameras outside the International Space Station captured views of Hurricane Michael at 12.58pm EDT October 10 from an altitude of 255 miles as the storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane over the Florida panhandle".
Homes washed away by Hurricane Michael were shown in this aerial photo, today, in Mexico Beach, Fla. It set off transformer explosions and knocked out power to more than 388,000 homes and businesses.
MIAMI Tropical Storm Michael has sped off toward the Atlantic Ocean, but there will be nothing quick about Florida's recovery from the hurricane, where rows upon rows of homes have been smashed to pieces. A pine tree punched a hole in their roof and he said the roar of the storm sounded like a jet engine as the winds accelerated.