LIVE UPDATES: Michael starting to lose tropical characteristics

ATLANTA — Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 storm and left a trail of destruction in its path through Florida and Georgia.

The storm weakened to a Tropical Storm overnight Thursday and is now moving through the Carolinas.

At least six people have been confirmed dead as emergency crews work to get to the most heavily-hit areas.

[PHOTOS: Mexico Beach decimated by Hurricane Michael]

Tragically, Channel 2 Action News has confirmed that one of the victims is a child from Georgia.

Seminole County EMA Director Travis Brooks confirmed that the 11-year-old was killed when a carport crashed into a home in south Georgia.

Brooks said there is no power in the county and trees and power poles are down in the area.

Watch Channel 2 Action News This Morning, starting at 4:30 a.m. as we continue to track Tropical Storm Michael.


Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologists have been using the world's most powerful weather technology to track Michael for more than a week as it gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico.

Michael weakened to a tropical storm around 1 a.m., and is continuing to lose strength as it moves into the Carolinas. Its current maximum sustained winds is 50 mph.

[DOWNLOAD: Free Severe Weather Team 2 App]

[PHOTOS: Hurricane Michael makes landfall, leaves devastating damage behind]


Hundreds of thousands of people were left without power. Both Georgia Power and EMCs reported a total of more than 450,000 outages.

According to Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brad Nitz, it's the first time since 1898 that Georgia has taken a direct hit from a major hurricane.

GEMA asked drivers to stay off the roads Thursday morning as crews work to clear them of debris and downed power lines.

"If you must travel, (1) plan your route & allow adequate time; (2) drive w/ caution; & (3) follow traffic signal rules if you find one that's experienced loss of power," GEMA said in a tweet.

LIVE Minute-by-Minute Updates

11:00 p.m.

Recovery efforts continue. The National Hurricane Center said flash flooding is happening over portions of the southern Mid-Atlantic states.

8:00 p.m.

Michael is starting to lose tropical characteristics, according to the National Hurricane Center.

5:45 p.m.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency in Georgia due to damage from Hurricane Michael.

4:30 p.m.

ABC News reports the death toll has climbed to six.

4:00 p.m.

Power was restored to 234,000 Georgia Power customers following Hurricane Michael, according to an update released by Georgia Power. The company said 116,000 customers are still without power throughout Georgia.

3:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service confirms an EF-0 tornado touched down near Oakland City in Fulton County Wednesday, just east of Cascade Heights, after Michael made landfall. Officials said only trees were damaged.

3:00 p.m.

ABC News reports the death toll has climbed to five.

1:30 p.m.

New video shows a family rescue another family from the roof of their home in St. Joe Beach, Fl.

1:02 p.m.

Stunning drone video and photos from Mexico Beach shows much of the community flattened:

12:29 p.m.

DeKalb County officials say that 35 roads were closed at the height of Hurricane Michael due to downed trees and power lines.

At least 10 roads were still closed by 12:30 p.m. Residents are urged to call 911 if they see downed trees and power lines across the road.

12:28 p.m.

Channel 2 Meteorologist Katie Walls says winds gusted at 115 mph in Seminole County Thursday night.

11:51 p.m.

Channel 2's Chris Jose is making his way to Seminole County, Ga. where an 11-year-old girl was killed in the storm. Here's a look at damage in Whigham, Ga.

The Seminole County EMA director told Jose the city Donalsonville, Ga. looks lie a "war zone."

11:40 a.m.

Channel 2's Mark Winne says lots of trees and power lines are down in Dougherty and Crisp Counties.

11:31 a.m.

Crews are working to reopen roads and restore power after trees came down overnight in Cherokee County.

11:22 a.m.

The City of Valdosta says they have gotten more than 50 calls about fallen trees. Officials there say the overall cleanup could take weeks.

11:20 a.m.

Channel 2's Lauren Pozen is on the ground in southwest Atlanta, where the National Weather Service is assessing whether damage there was caused by a tornado.

11:11 a.m.

Channel 2's Audrey Washington is seeing major damage to roads in Paulding County.

11:01 a.m.

Georgia Power crews a reporting significant damage in Albany, Americus, Bainbridge, Macon, Valdosta and Vidalia. Gov. Nathan Deal said in a news conference Thursday morning that nearly 450,000 people are without power.

10:56 a.m.

Over 900,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas were without power Thursday morning.

10:30 a.m.:

Governor Nathan Deal held a news conference about the damage in Georgia from Hurricane Michael.

Gov. Nathan Deal speaks about damage in Georgia from Hurricane Michael

Gov. Nathan Deal speaks about the damage in Georgia from Hurricane Michael - 2wsb.tv/2C8ZquE

Posted by WSB-TV on Thursday, October 11, 2018
8:55 a.m.:

All lanes just reopened on I-20 E near I-285 in DeKalb County after a deadly crash. The crash happened around 2:30 a.m.

8:38 a.m.:

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Katie Walls posted rainfall totals for areas in north Georgia.

7:55 a.m.:

The latest advisory for Tropical Storm Michael is that center of the storm is moving over South Carolina but tropical storm-force winds are still occurring over southeastern Georgia. The maximum sustained winds are still at 50 mph.

7:27 a.m.:

Clouds from Michael are streaming across the sky in downtown Atlanta.

7:24 a.m.:

Georgia Tech Police say a tree limb is down, temporarily blocking Bobby Dobb at Power Plant Drive.

6:55 a.m.:

Triple Team Traffic says several lanes are blocked due to a crash on Holcomb Bridge Road near  GA-400 in North Fulton County.

6:39 a.m.:

Triple Team Traffic's Mark Arum said drivers need to be careful on roads this morning in Georgia.

What you need to worry about this morning on the roads: - Standing water 💧 - Tree debris 🌲 - High winds 💨 - Rain 🌧️ -...

Posted by Mark Arum WSB on Thursday, October 11, 2018
6:29 a.m.:

The number of power outages has risen to more than 350,000 across Georgia.

6:17 a.m.:

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Karen Minton says that the flood warnings have expired.

6:07 a.m.:

The Georgia National Guard members are on standby if they are needed to help with the damage from Tropical Storm Michael.

5:55 a.m.:

Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach reports that a woman was cut free from a car after a tree crashed onto it, pinning her in northwest Atlanta.

5:44 a.m.:

Flood Warnings are in effect after 4 to 6 inches of rain fell in parts of metro Atlanta.

5:43 a.m.:

Tropical Storm Warning remains for many counties but Upson and Lamar counties have been removed.

5:32 a.m.:

The Cherokee County Sheriff's Officer said that Epperson Road near Scott Road is closed due to a tree down and power lines.

5:17 a.m.:

Vice President Mike Pence has postponed a campaign stop in Atlanta tomorrow due to the impact of Michael in Georgia.

4:59 a.m.:

A new advisory shows that Tropical Storm Michael is continuing to weaken even more. It's current maximum wind speeds are at 50 mph.

4:45 a.m.:

A Tropical Storm Warning is still in effect for much of Middle and Eastern Georgia.

4:38 a.m.:

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Karen Minton says Atlanta set a record for rain on Wednesday due to Michael.

4:35 a.m.:

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Katie Walls says Michael is continuing to weaken but the wind and rain will impact the morning commute.

4:31 a.m.:

There are a few school delays this morning.

4:05 a.m.:

Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach reports that there is a multi-vehicle crash on I-20 E at I-285 in DeKalb County. He reports the interstate is very wet.

4:02 a.m.:

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Karen Minton says rain bands from Michael are moving through metro Atlanta.

3:40 a.m.:

Channel 2's Linda Stouffer reports that the roads across metro Atlanta is slick due to the heavy rainfall.

3 a.m.:

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Katie Walls reports that the strongest winds right now is in Middle Georgia.

2 a.m.:

Tropical Storm Michael continues to weaken over Middle Georgia with maximum sustained winds at 60 mph. Michael is moving toward the northeast near 20 mph and this general motion should continue this morning.

1 a.m.:

Michael has weakened to a Tropical Storm.