Historic Hurricane Michael Downgraded to Tropical Storm, Hovers Over Georgia

October 11, 2018 Updated: October 11, 2018

The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Michael has weakened to a tropical storm as it moves across Georgia on Oct. 11.

Michael moved through the City of Thomasville and was blasting wind speeds of up to 60-70 mph, although it is forecast to continue slowing down.

Officials warned that, after what has been the worst storm in 50 years, many trees and power lines are on the road creating dangerous conditions, with power outages across the region expected to remain.

When it ripped through Seminole County, Georgia, a carport roof used to store boats flew into the air and landed on an 11-year-old girl living in a trailer home. This is the second reported death caused by Michael, The Washington Post reported.

The first death occurred in Florida when a tree fell on a man just as the storm hit the coast.

The storm in Panama City, Flordia has sustained winds of up to 155 mph—almost a category 5 hurricane.

As Michael is moving through Thomasville, it continues to travel northeast, leaving 175,000 people without power ever since it hit Georgia, Atlantic-Journal Constitution reported.

Google Crisis map estimates that Michael will move through Augusta, and to the Carolinas.

When Michael Arrived in Florida

When Michael arrived in Panama, Florida, it broke and ripped trees out of the ground, peeled roofs away, and left 380,000 properties without power.

Vance Beu was staying with his mother in her single story wood frame apartment building at the time, The Associated Press reported. The pair had stacked mattresses all around themselves for protection. Before long, a pine tree punched a hole in their roof and the wind was so strong it caused their ears to pop.

Beu, 29, described the winds as sounding like a jet engine.

“It was terrifying, honestly. There was a lot of noise. We thought the windows were going to break at any time,” Beu said.

Sally Crown who also lives in Florida’s Panhandle said she was really upset that the hurricane had downed all the trees in her yard, The Associated Press reported.

But after she went outside to check on her cafe, she saw that the full extent of the storm’s damage was much worse.

“It’s absolutely horrendous. Catastrophic,” she said. “There’s flooding. Boats on the highway. A house on the highway. Houses that have been there forever are just shattered.”

Army Corp to the Rescue

Army Maj. Gen. Scott Spellmon said that computer models of the hurricane showed widespread damage to rooftops in the affected states of Florida and Georgia. The Army Corps engineers were sent out by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help start patching tens of thousands of damaged roofs with blue-tarps, USA Today reported.

The temporary roofs will help reduce the number of people that need shelter and allow residents to stay at home instead.

Spellmon said that the Corps engineers have provided 200 generators to hospitals, nursing homes, police stations, and fire stations for temporary power so far.

FEMA may also call upon the Army Corps to help clear the roads as the most difficult task ahead is clearing the debris from the roads so that emergency personnel can get to work.