Michael Strengthens To Category 3 Hurricane

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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. Michael flattened homes, plunged communities into darkness and ravaged whole neighborhoods.

Michael is not a spent force. Nadine is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 miles per hour (15 kph), and this motion is expected to continue through tonight.

In Apalachicola, about 30 miles east of where the storm made landfall, a little less than half of the 2,200 people stayed and rode out the storm, residents said.

"We brought all four of them and their cat to my condo", she said. The couple were assessing damage and trying to help neighbors on Thursday.

The town of Bluffton said residents should dispose of debris at Beaufort County convenience centers.

- Hurricane history: first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in Florida's Panhandle since record-keeping began in 1851.

About 1.5 million homes and businesses were without power from Florida to Virginia early on Friday, according to utility companies.

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The damage could be particularly severe for the Carolinas, which are still cleaning up from Hurricane Florence.

Emergency services carried out dozens of rescues of people caught in swiftly moving floodwaters in North Carolina on Thursday.

Rescuers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) used dogs, drones and Global Positioning System in the search.

There may be lingering effects, though, the center wrote: "Gale winds may continue for a few more hours over portions of southeastern Virginia, the southern Chesapeake Bay, and the Delmarva Peninsula". 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. Michael is also pouring flash flooding rains as it passes through North Carolina today and multiple warnings have emerged as a result. One man, Steven Sweet, died when a tree fell on a home near Greensboro, Florida. Three other people in Gadsden were killed in separate storm-related incidents, Hightower said.

At least seven people were killed in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, according to state officials. Officials didn't say whether anyone else was in the vehicle.

Authorities said a falling tree killed a man outside Tallahassee, Florida, and an 11-year-old girl in Georgia was killed when the winds picked up a carport and dropped it on her home.

A Virginia man was found dead after getting swept away from his vehicle in Pittsylvania County, state police said Friday.

Some regions of the United States are expecting 12in (30cm) of rain, with flash flooding possibly striking along a 300-mile stretch of Florida's coastline.

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He said that authorities were yet to fully explore areas like Mexico Beach in Florida, which he called "ground zero" after it was pummelled by the hurricane.

Gov. Rick Scott said the Panhandle woke up to "unimaginable destruction".

It could be weeks before power is restored to the most damaged parts of Florida, such as Panama City.

Two hospitals in Panama City were closed, but two temporary facilities opened to receive their patients and other people injured by the storm.

The president told reporters that those affected by the storm were in his prayers, and he said the administration "will not rest or waver" until recovery was complete.

Scott said 1,000 search and rescue personnel were ready to respond as soon as Michael passes.

"I have had employees going to the communities where our kids live, going door to door and checking", Principal Britt Smith by phone.

On Twitter, Sen. Marco Rubio described the scene in Mexico Beach as "total devastation" and said drone images produced "audible gasps" at one emergency operations center.

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