Hurricane Michael has made landfall in Florida, killing at least one person and leaving more than 300,000 homes without power.
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The storm arrived at the Florida Panhandle near Mexico Beach just shy of becoming a Category 5 storm, with sustained winds of up to 155mph flattening buildings, uprooting trees and bringing down power lines.
US National Weather Service director Dr Louise Uccellini called the storm a “worst case scenario for the Florida Panhandle”, and urged residents to get to safety and stay inside.
Michael is the strongest storm to hit the mainland US since Hurricane Andrew lashed Florida and Louisiana in 1992, killing 23 people and causing more than £20bn in damage.
Donald Trump has been briefed on the storm by Fema administrator Brock Long and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who advised the president that any buildings constructed prior to 2001 “are not designed to handle” the storm’s winds, The Guardian reports.
“This started out very innocently a week ago. This was a small storm,” Trump said. “It grew into a monster.”
CNN reports that Hurricane Michael has since weakened to a Category 1 storm, carrying sustained winds of around 87mph as it makes its way north across south-western Georgia, moving at around 17mph.
The storm is predicted to continue to track to the northeast, passing over South and North Carolina, where residents and businesses are still in the process of cleaning up after Hurricane Florence struck less than a month ago.
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