Hurricane Michael has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm as it moves over Georgia, and while it could be downgraded further by early Thursday, forecasters warn that it remains dangerous, reports Reuters. The storm—the biggest on record to hit the Florida Panhandle and one of the biggest ever to make landfall in the US—left a trail of devastation in Florida and at least one fatality, a man who was killed when a tree fell on his home, the AP reports. Michael was a borderline Category 5 when it made landfall Wednesday, and authorities say the scale of destruction will not be fully known until daylight arrives Thursday.
"We’re kind of getting crushed," Franklin County Sheriff AJ Smith told the Washington Post as the storm hit. "It’s horrific." Witnesses say that in the area around Mexico Beach, where Michael made landfall, homes were destroyed and downed trees and power lines were everywhere. Authorities say the storm left around 500,000 people without power in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia, the BBC reports. The National Hurricane Center says Michael, which still packs damaging winds, is expected to lose hurricane status by Thursday morning, but will "re-strengthen some Thursday night and Friday when it moves off the east coast of the United States and becomes a post-tropical cyclone on Friday." (Read more Hurricane Michael stories.)