>> Okay Michael is upon us and now is the time to seek refuge.>> The strongest hurricane to hit the Florida Panhandle in recorded history arrived Wednesday bringing punishing 155 miles per hour wind flooding towns and tearing though buildings.>> Unfortunately, Hurricane Michael is a hurricane of the worst kind.
There's nothing else that can be said about it.>> Unlike Hurricane Florence last month, Michael strengthened as it moved toward the US, becoming a very dangerous Category 4 storm.>> This is the worst storm that Florida Panhandle has seen in more than 100 years.>> The hurricane gaining power so quickly, many large cranes in the region couldn't be taken down in time.
Authorities Wednesday morning told residents along Florida's Gulf Coast that it was too late to evacuate.>> Do not leave your house.>> Reuters correspondent Rod Nichol is in Panama City, Florida.>> Those who are left are long time residents who have either stayed in their homes or come to hotels, they say they just don't wanna go that far from their homes.
One elderly woman told me that my home is my whole being and she didn't wanna go far from it. These people have homes right on the beach front nearby. Another person I spoke with said that 20 years ago he evacuated from here. He couldn't get back to his home for about two days.
So the long time residents of Panama City are hunkered down and they're gonna wait this one out.>> We're doing a lot of different things to try to remove people from the area but a lot of people are very poor. In certain of those areas and it's very tough for them to leave.
>> The National Hurricane Center said the storm could drive sea water levels as high as 14 feet in some areas. The governors of Alabama and Georgia also declared states of emergency.>> Winds will be strong enough to bring down trees.>> North Caroline governor Roy Cooper on Wednesday warned communities still recovering from Florence that more was coming.
>> The last thing people cleaned up from Florence need right now is more wind and rain. But this storm is coming.>> Authorities said Michael would still have hurricane force winds as it pushed through Florida and into Georgia and tropical storm force winds when it reaches the Carolinas.