Hurricane Michael leaves catastrophic damage in Florida

Record-breaking storm tears through Panhandle region

The third-strongest storm to ever hit the U.S. slammed Florida on Wednesday.

Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm with winds reaching up to 155 miles per hour, plummeted through Mexico Beach, Florida as the strongest recorded hurricane ever to hit the area. The storm caused catastrophic damage, leaving over 490,000 people with power outages in Alabama, Georgia and Florida and one reported fatality as of Wednesday night, according to CNN.

The hurricane hit land with just under the highest wind speed possible for a Category 4 storm at 155 mph. If the hurricane reached 157 mph, it would be considered Category 5, the highest hurricane category.

As the hurricane passed through Florida, it made its way to Georgia, becoming a Category 1 storm by 8 p.m. The storm is expected to weaken as it travels through the Northeast on Thursday and it will eventually head off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean early Friday, according to a National Hurricane Center advisory Wednesday night.

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Brenton J. Blanchet is the 2019-20 editor-in-chief of The Spectrum. His work has appeared in Billboard, Clash Magazine, DJBooth, PopCrush, The Face and more. Ask him about Mariah Carey.