One of the most intense storms to ever hit the U.S., Hurricane Michael roared ashore early Wednesday afternoon along the Florida Panhandle with 155 mph winds, just two miles per hour shy of Category 5 status.
Where the capital markets could take another share is areas like reinsurance sidecars, which have already been seeing some losses from recent global catastrophe events, or private ILS quota shares, where investors can take a share of a re/insurers loss exposure to a storm like Michael.
Based on barometric pressure, Michael was also the third most powerful hurricane to hit the US mainland, behind the Labor Day storm of 1935 and Hurricane Camille in 1969. "Hopefully they don't, but those numbers could climb as search-and-rescue teams get out".
After slamming Florida and lashing Georgia, Michael is now threatening the storm-weary Carolinas.
Hurricane Michael lashed Georgia Wednesday evening before weakening to a Category 1 storm between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. The storm had top sustained winds of 112 km/h and was moving to the northeast at 27 km/h. As reported by The Weather Channel, the hurricane-turned-tropical-storm continues to travel up the East Coast with wind speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.
In Georgia, an 11-year-old girl died when a auto port flipped into the air by a gust of wind landed on her home, Travis Brooks, head of the emergency relief agency in Seminole County, told AFP.
Hurricane centre director Ken Graham said on Facebook that Michael would be the worst storm in recorded history to hit the Panhandle. But she added emergency crews trying to reach the home were hampered by downed trees and debris blocking roadways.
On Thursday, authorities and residents will begin to discover the full extent of Michael's destruction in Florida and Georgia while the Carolinas brace for possible flooding, tornadoes and unsafe winds in numerous same areas still recovering from Hurricane Florence flooding.
More than 300 miles of coastline were under threat, the National Weather Service said. There are power lines everywhere.
Albrecht, the Mexico Beach councilwoman, would like to return home, but she says the roads are impassible. Roofs were peeled off and homes split open by fallen trees.
At least one person was killed when a tree crashed into his Greensboro, Florida home.
A few blocks inland, about half the homes were reduced to piles of wood and siding and those still standing suffered heavy damage.
"Kaboom! Like the world moved or something", Lewis said of the moment when the trees snapped while he sheltered inside.
It was the strongest to hit the continental USA since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were ordered or urged to evacuate as Michael closed in. Residents and emergency workers spent most of the day hunkered down, and emerged only toward nightfall to begin assessing the storm's toll.
Brooks said several hours passed before emergency officials could reach the unincorporated area where the incident took place.
The first confirmed fatality of the storm was recorded Wednesday. "All of my furniture was floating", she said. When the house filled with storm surge water, they fled upstairs.
Josh Morgerman, a well-known storm chaser, tweeted, "It's hard to convey in words the scale of the catastrophe in Panama City".
The kittens eventually made their way to the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS shelter, in Fort Walton, where they are now adoptable, Marciano said in a tweet.