Watch as Florida man gets rare look inside Hurricane Michael's eye

Search teams fan out to reach Hurricane Michael's victims

Tamiya Waldon looks out at the damage to her neighbourhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla., on Wednesday.

"I'm very concerned about our citizens that didn't evacuate and I just hope that, you know, we don't have much loss of life", Mr Scott said.

Joe, a city not far from Tallahassee, the storm surge pushed inland. Add Hurricane Michael as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Hurricane Michael news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

The storm is now the most powerful hurricane on record to strike the Florida Panhandle.

Fast-moving Michael, a Category 4 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale when it came ashore, was about 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, at 8 p.m. (0000 GMT), with top sustained winds of 50 miles (80 kph) as it headed for the Atlantic coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center in hard-hit Panama City, 32 km northwest of Mexico Beach, was treating some of the injured.

The storm is rumbling into SC, while also bringing strong winds and heavy rains to North Carolina and Virginia amid a tornado threat, many news outlets reported.

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In Panama City, buildings were crushed, tall pine trees were sent flying and a steeple was knocked off a church.

CNN's John Berman and Dianne Gallagher report from Panama City Beach, Florida, as Hurricane Michael approaches landfall. After crossing Florida, it was passing through Alabama, Georgia and on to SC.

Authorities said at least two people have died, a man killed by a tree falling on a Panhandle home and an 11-year-old girl killed by a tree falling on a home in southwest Georgia. More than 6 inches of rain has fallen in the western part of the state, Cooper said. Wind damage was also evident.

"As Hurricane Michael continues its destructive path through the Panhandle and leaves our state, we're turning 100 percent of our effort on search and rescue and recovery", Florida Gov. Rick Scott said in a press conference.

Michael also disrupted energy operations in the US Gulf of Mexico as it approached land, cutting crude oil production by more than 40 percent and natural gas output by almost one-third as offshore platforms were evacuated.

But devastation in Hurricane Michael's wake was so severe that it made images of some of the hardest-hit areas in Florida trickle out as slowly as if from a distant, third-world nation.

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