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

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Hurricane Michael makes landfall in Florida

Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle Wednesday as the most powerful hurricane on record.

Jason Phipps looks through his family's roofless apartment after Hurricane Michael made landfall in Panama City, Fla.

A marina warehouse is damaged at the Port St. Joe Marina.

The storm, which was one of the strongest to hit the US since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 when it struck the Florida panhandle Wednesday afternoon, could bring serious damage to south and central Georgia, the National Weather Service said.

"I grew up in southwest Florida", says Brown, "and we had the eyes of storm go over us every summer but for some reason it's scarier here because the damage will come from the wind".

Tamiya Waldon looks out at the damage to her neighbourhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla., on Wednesday. It killed two people, left thousands without power, uprooted trees and destroyed the region.

More than 180,000 people along the Florida Panhandle were under mandatory evacuation orders.

Olivia Smith, public information officer for the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners, said there was "one hurricane-related fatality", adding that the incident was "debris-related".

At the Panama City news station WJHG/WECP, reporter Tyler Allender tweeted that his colleagues were taking shelter in a hallway in the middle of the building because "this wind is SERIOUS". The winds lifted up the rectangular porch roof, then slammed it down to the floor. O'Shaughnessy said Army Corps of Engineers personnel are still on the ground in the Carolina's assisting with rebuilding efforts there.

Pine trees litter a backyard in Florida.

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Michael shattered houses and buildings, downed power lines and ripped up trees when it crashed ashore on Wednesday afternoon, carrying winds of up to 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour) and causing deep seawater flooding.

Hurricane Michael reduced its strength to a Tropical Storm last night at midnight, after making a bold entrance at almost a Category 5 yesterday.

There have been an unknown number of water rescues Thursday morning in the mountain counties of Henderson and McDowell, according to Division of Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry.

"I did see something about the hurricane, but I didn't know that it was that close to my hometown", he said.

The storm, the most severe to hit the Florida Panhandle in a century, brought flash floods, inundating roads and homes.

At the time, its maximum sustained wind speeds were measuring around 155 miles per hour, making it the strongest hurricane on record to directly hit that part of The Sunshine State.

After making landfall near Mexico Beach around 2 p.m. ET, the eye of Michael moved inland over the Florida Panhandle east of Panama City.

The US National Hurricane Centre warned the effects from Michael's storm surge (or tsunami-like rise in water at the coast), destructive winds, and flooding rain would be "potentially catastrophic".

The storm was expected to move across North Carolina and Virginia and push into the Atlantic Ocean by late Thursday or early Friday.

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