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The former Hurricane Michael has killed at least two people as it continues its move over the Southeast. The storm made landfall on the Florida Panhandle Wednesday afternoon as one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit the U.S. It weakened over land and became a tropical storm very late on Wednesday.

The terrifying Category 4 hurricane was packing maximum sustained winds of 155 mph when it crashed ashore near Mexico Beach, a lightly populated tourist town about midway along the Panhandle.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) described Michael as "potentially catastrophic." Debris was strewn across miles of Florida's coastline: roofs and awnings peeled back from buildings, pieces of homes scattered amid snapped trees and downed power lines, chunks of beaches washed away.

As of 2 a.m. EDT Thursday, Michael was about 25 miles east of Macon, Georgia, packing maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.

Nearly 30 million people in the Southeast were in its crosshairs. Forecasters said strong winds and rains would thrash Georgia and North and South Carolina, including areas that got a drenching last month from Hurricane Florence.