Hurricane Michael has officially entered Georgia.
The eye of the storm crossed into southwest Georgia about 5:45 p.m., Channel 2 Action News’ radar showed. It became the first major hurricane to enter Georgia since 1898, according to Channel 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz.
Michael weakened to a Category 1 storm by 8 p.m., with sustained wind speeds of 90 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported.
About 8 p.m., the hurricane was reported about 20 miles southwest of Albany.
It made landfall as a Category 4 around 1:40 p.m. on the Florida Panhandle, the National Hurricane Center said. It immediately pummeled the region with strong winds and potentially catastrophic storm surges.
As a Category 4, Michael was the strongest storm to ever hit the Florida Panhandle since reliable record-keeping began, according to Channel 2.
As it moved inland, Hurricane Michael had sustained winds of 125 mph and was moving north-northeast at 16 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported at 5 p.m.
At 7 p.m., the storm had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Also, airports in Albany, Bainbridge and Dothan, Ala., measured Michael’s wind speeds in the 60s.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) October 10, 2018
[8:47 p.m.] More than 125,000 people in Georgia were without power. That’s an increase of about 35,000 people since 7 p.m. Georgia Power reported about 69,800 people affected and Georgia EMC about 56,900.
[7:40 p.m.]: The Associated Press reported that a man in the Florida Panhandle was killed by a falling tree, the first reported death in the wake of the hurricane. Authorities said they received a call about 6 p.m. saying a tree had crashed through the roof of the man’s Greensboro home and trapped him. His identity was not released.