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An estimated 288,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida.

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.

People walk along a street blocked by a building after Hurricane Michael passed through the area.

Roads were impassable and canals were choked with debris.

An 80-mile stretch of Interstate 10, the main east-west route along the Florida Panhandle - the northwestern stretch of the state which bore the brunt of Michael's strength - was closed because of debris.

Sarah Radney, who lived in Seminole County, Georgia, died when the winds picked up a carport and dropped it on her home.

Gov. Rick Scott said the Panhandle woke up to "unimaginable destruction".

Florida has been battling the scourge of the poisonous red tide algae blooms for most of the summer, with tens of thousands of dead marine life, including fish, dolphins, manatees and turtles, washing up on beaches along the state's south-western coast. "This hurricane was an absolute monster".

As reported by The Weather Channel, the hurricane-turned-tropical-storm continues to travel up the East Coast with wind speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.

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Now a tropical storm, Michael is headed to the Carolinas.

Over Georgia, Michael will dump up to seven inches of rain as it continues on its path over the southeastern US.

It's unclear how many of them are missing.

About 359,000 customers in Florida were in the dark early Thursday, according to the state's emergency management agency.

"We've got a massive flow of people going down to coast to try to be helpful", Scott told CBSN's Vladimir Duthiers and Meg Oliver on Thursday.

At least two deaths were blamed on Michael, the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental United States in over 50 years, and it wasn't done yet: Though weakened into a tropical storm, it continued to bring heavy rain and blustery winds to the Southeast as it pushed inland, soaking areas still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

The US national guard has reached the town, dubbed "ground zero", and found 20 people who survived a direct hit from Michael.

Communications outages and roads blocked by downed trees, strewn power lines and debris made it hard to get an overall assessment of the damage wrought by Michael, but the initial picture was grim. Video from a drone revealed widespread devastation across the town of about 1,000 people.

Homes and other buildings were left in pieces, while concrete foundations are all that remain of other structures that were entirely washed away by the hurricane's storm surge.