Hurricane Michael crushes Georgia, heads toward Carolinas

Brian Bon inspects damages in the Panama City downtown area after Hurricane Michael made landfall in Panama City

Brian Bon inspects damages in the Panama City downtown area after Hurricane Michael made landfall in Panama City

CNN's John Berman and Dianne Gallagher report from Panama City Beach, Florida, as Hurricane Michael approaches landfall.

The National Hurricane Center says the core of Michael will move across central and eastern Georgia Thursday morning, and then over southern and central SC later in the day.

Although most homes were still standing, no property was left undamaged and downed power lines lay almost everywhere.

As we drove through mile after mile of swamp and pines, power and clearance crews worked in the heat.

Michael killed at least six people - including a man who died when a tree toppled onto his house in Florida and a girl who died when debris fell into a home in Georgia, officials and local media said. The area is known for its small beach towns, wildlife reserves and the state capital, Tallahassee.

More than 900,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida, Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia on Thursday. The Carolinas are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

The hurricane, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to strike the USA mainland, left at least two people dead.

The hurricane, the fiercest to hit Florida in 80 years, pummeled communities across the Panhandle and turned streets into roof-high waterways.

On Thursday morning, some 830,000 homes were reported to be without power as a result of the damage.

An estimated 6,000 people evacuated to emergency shelters, mostly in Florida, and that number was expected to swell to 20,000 across five states by week's end, said Brad Kieserman of the American Red Cross.

Many homes were ripped apart or washed away altogether in Mexico Beach, the town of 1,000 where the hurricane came ashore.

Down the road, one property featured a garage complete with motorbike, untouched, next to a home that had been splintered to pieces by three huge trees. "If Hurricane Michael moves that algae onto land, it gets spread out, it doesn't get sustained", Frank Muller-Karger, professor of biological oceanography at the University of Maryland, told Bloomberg.

At the time, its maximum sustained wind speeds were measuring around 155 miles per hour, making it the strongest hurricane on record to directly hit that part of The Sunshine State.

"As Hurricane Michael continues its destructive path through the Panhandle and leaves our state, we're turning 100 percent of our effort on search and rescue and recovery", Florida Gov. Rick Scott said in a press conference.

Michael was also top of mind for President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

This made the storm the third-most powerful to ever hit the United States mainland.