Rescuers, Army personnel search for Hurricane Michael survivors

Inmates in Walton County Florida volunteered Thursday to help clear debris Hurricane Michael left in the Euchee Valley

With winds of 155mph and a storm surge of nearly 14 feet, the hurricane has left a trail of destruction more than 100 miles wide at its immediate point of impact and stretching in excess of 200 miles inland into southern Georgia, where it finally subsided into a rain-heavy tropical storm.

When the steep-walled eye of Hurricane Michael passed over Stefan Melendez Wednesday afternoon, he stepped into the temporarily tranquil Florida environment and saw blue skies above.

"Our hearts are with the thousands who have sustained property damage, in many cases entirely wiped out", Trump said. On Thursday morning, some 830,000 homes were reported to be without power as a result of the damage.

"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", Scott told ABC.

The storm tore entire neighborhoods 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.

Many residents with destroyed or damaged homes counted themselves lucky to have survived. No patients were hurt, the hospital said.

It weakened to a storm as it moved inland towards the north-east, but at least six people have died, a lot of them in Florida.

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Authorities said a falling tree killed a man outside Tallahassee, Florida, and an 11-year-old girl in Georgia was killed when the winds picked up a carport and dropped it on her home. One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit her in the head.

Hundreds of cars had broken windows and twisted street signs lay on the ground. Homes were split open by fallen trees.

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

"For North Carolina, Michael isn't as bad as Florence, but it adds unwelcome insult to injury, so we must be on alert", Gov. Roy Cooper said.

Michael, which decreased to a tropical storm overnight, is continuing to weaken as it moves along the southeast US coast.

Michael also disrupted energy operations in the U.S. 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.

Hurricane Michael is the strongest storm to make landfall in the continental United States in nearly half a century, and the strongest hurricane ever to hit in October.

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