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Officials: Man killed in Panhandle by falling tree as Hurricane Michael passed through

(Gary Schmitt)

Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane near Mexico Beach on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm pounded the Panhandle with 150-plus mph winds, causing flooding and damage to homes.

One man was killed in the Panhandle Wednesday by a fallen tree, according to officials. The Gadsen County Sheriff's Office said they got a call around 6 p.m. about a tree that fell through the room of the man's home in Greensboro and trapped him. Emergency crews tried to get to the home, but downed power lines and blocked roads made it difficult.

The man's name hasn't been released yet.

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Michael has now downgraded to a Category 1 as it moves across south-central Georgia, according to the NHC. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and is about 45 miles south-southwest of Macon, Georgia.

CBS12 reporter Mike Magnoli provided live coverage of the storm:

Hurricane Michael is the strongest hurricane, in terms of pressure and wind speed, to hit the continental United States in the month of October. It's also the first Category 4 hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in October since Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

As of 9 p.m., at least 366,145 households are without power because of Hurricane Michael, according to the Florida State Emergency Response team.

Michael is moving toward the north-northeast neat 16 mph and will travel through Alabama and Georgia through Wednesday night, the NHC said. The storm will continue across the southeastern U.S. on Thursday before moving off the Mid-Atlantic coast late Thursday night and Friday.

Gov. Rick Scott said in a news conference Wednesday night that Michael was one of the most powerful storms to hit the U.S.

The hurricane warning for the Gulf Coast of Florida has been discontinued, the NHC said. The storm surge warning has been discontinued west of Panama City and southeast of Keaton Beach.


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