Olivia Smith, public information officer for the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners, said there was "one hurricane-related fatality", adding that the incident was "debris-related". It's very, very scary.
And tornado warnings radiated out into counties near the hurricane's path in Georgia on Tuesday evening, after reports of at least two that had formed in Florida. She appeared to pull the "cover the hurricane in the field" stick, and today reported from a helicopter flying high over the ravaged area of Mexico City, Florida.
After being battered for almost 3 hours by strong winds and heavy rains, roads in Panama City were virtually impassable and trees, satellite dishes and traffic lights lay in the streets.
"This happened so quickly, we weren't exactly prepared", he said. Its sustained winds were just 2 miles per hour (3.2 kph) shy of being an extremely rare Category 5.
While many cities along the Florida Panhandle enjoy the protection of various channel, barrier and tied islands, which can help stifle the impact of storm surge on the mainland, Mexico Beach sits between Crooked Island and the St. Joseph Peninsula, directly on the water.
Rebuilding the system is far more work that restringing lines, and estimates are that a million people could be left without power by the storm. A metal carport was picked up by the wind and crashed through the roof of a structure, hitting the girl's head, said Travis Brooks, the county's emergency management director.
In Panama City, near where Michael came ashore, uprooted trees and downed power lines were strewn everywhere and countless homes were torn asunder.More than 380,000 homes and businesses lost power at the height of the storm. He was briefed by FEMA's Long in the Oval Office on preparations.
Rather than lingering in one region as Florence did, inundating the Carolinas with rain, Michael is expected to race north to Georgia by Thursday, and reach the coast of MA by the weekend, he said. The storm is now moving into extreme southeastern Alabama and southwest Georgia, bringing life-threatening storm surge and catastrophic winds.
A vehicle sits partially submerged in floodwaters after Hurricane Michael hit in Panama City, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.
Helen Neal, 88, and her husband, J.W. Neal, 87, preferred to take their chances in a hotel rather than in their two-story beachfront house about a mile away in Panama City.
An estimated 6,000 people evacuated to emergency shelters, mostly in Florida, and that number was expected to swell to 20,000 across five states by week's end, said Brad Kieserman of the American Red Cross. "God willing we'll still have some place".
Michael was downgraded to a Category 1 storm as it moved into Georgia, where it was expected to continue to bring risky storm surge, hurricane force winds, flash flooding, and possible tornadoes.
Scott urged people to stay off roads and leave them open to first responders as they begin the work of search and rescue - and recovery.