Hurricane Michael Devastates Florida, Two Dead

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Gov. Rick Scott announced afterward that thousands of law enforcement officers, utility crews and search and rescue teams would now go into recovery mode.

"So many lives have been changed forever". So many families have lost everything.

Bu the full extent of the damage was only slowly becoming clear, with some of the worst areas hard to reach. An 80-mile (130-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 10, the main east-west route, was closed.

The deaths further illustrate Michael's devastating impact across the Florida Panhandle, where Michael made landfall Wednesday near Mexico Beach as Category 4 hurricane.

Rows and rows of other homes were smashed to pieces or crunched to the ground.

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In Wakulla County, the sheriff's office made a list of people who chose to ride out the storm and will begin the process of checking on them Thursday, sheriff's captain Chris Savary said. The fate of many other residents was unknown, authorities said.

They also said that the hurricane could apply some pressure to reinsurers, although given the broad use of retrocession, capital markets protection and also the extremely well-capitalised nature of the market right now, this does not seem that likely to pressure anyone but the weakest and most catastrophe exposed of reinsurance firms.

Most of the full-time residents, he said, have some connection to the hospitality industry.

Mishelle McPherson and her ex-husband looked for the elderly mother of a friend on Thursday.

His parents live about 20 miles from the nearest hospital and Sarah's grandmother had to walk hundreds of yard s to reach the emergency responders who could only tend to her after six hours due to downed trees. Deidre Hawthorne's family stayed in a shelter during the storm and returned to find their home still standing - but with fallen trees blocking the front door. "Do you think it would have floated away?" she asked. It includes the privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial and industrial properties and automobiles. "All of my furniture was floating", she said. "It was very bad, and now there's just nothing left". The storm, which killed two people, weakened in its intensity as it progressed to Georgia. "I don't know what I'm going to", said Williams. But "we have to make sure things are safe".

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This is preferred by Klotzbach, who explains that it is more precise for historical comparisons because it is measured precisely by an airplane flying in the middle of the storm's eye, whereas "wind is going to be different everywhere along the hurricane".

A woman and her children stand near a destroyed gas station in Panama City.

The storm tore entire neighbourhoods apart, reducing homes and businesses to piles of wood and siding, damaging roads and leaving scenes of devastation that resembled the aftermath of a carpet-bombing operation. Roofs were peeled away and sent airborne.

Kaylee O'Brien was crying as she sorted through the remains of the apartment she shared with three roommates at Whispering Pines apartments, where the smell of broken pine trees was thick in the air.

Storm-surge warnings were in place between Panama City Beach and Keaton Beach in Florida, and between Ocracoke Inlet and Duck in North Carolina.

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Florida has activated 3,500 National Guard troops.

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