Boats lay sunk and damaged at the Port St. Joe Marina after Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
The stunning scope of Hurricane Michael’s rampage started coming into focus Thursday, as dawn in Panama City, Florida revealed a sprawling mess of almost unimaginable devastation wrought by the third-most powerful hurricane in recorded history to lash the U.S. mainland.
Michael is now a tropical storm and, as of Thursday morning, was pushing its way across South Carolina — while also lashing North Carolina and Virginia with strong winds and heavy rains amid a tornado threat.
Hurricane Michael made landfall around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, just north of Mexico Beach, as a Category 4 storm with 155 mph sustained winds — just 1 mph below the threshold for a Category 5 designation. The storm blasted the Florida Panhandle and southwest Georgia with wicked winds and killed at least two people.