Tropical Storm Michael kills six, leaves Florida in ruins

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. -- Tropical Storm Michael has claimed a life in North Carolina, bringing the total death toll from the storm to at least six.

The deaths illustrate the ripples of Michael's devastation since it blasted the Florida Panhandle and then headed northeast.

A 38-year-old man died when a large tree fell on his vehicle on Highway 64, east of Statesville, North Carolina on Thursday.  Five people have also died in Florida. The fatalities include a child in Seminole County and a man in Gadsen County who died after a tree fell on a home near Greensboro.

As of Thursday afternoon, the storm was centered about 20 miles north-northwest of Raleigh, North Carolina, and is headed northeast.

Tropical Storm Michael is causing flash flooding across portions of North Carolina and Virginia.

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More than 486,000 customers don't have electricity in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Farmers are drastically seeing the effects of the storm. At least 53 poultry houses were destroyed in Georgia, where agriculture is the top industry, the state's Department of Agriculture said. Many crops, such as vegetables and cotton, may also be affected.

Catastrophic scenes have emerged across the Florida Panhandle, with Mexico Breach ground zero of the devastation.

"Mexico Beach was wiped out," said Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

All lanes of I-10 between mile marker 85 to mile marker 166 in Florida are closed due to debris, Florida authorities said Thursday.

After slamming Florida and lashing Georgia, Michael is now barreling through the storm-weary Carolinas. Tornadoes, dangerous winds and more flooding are possible in many of the same areas still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

Michael is expected to dump up to 9 inches of rain in parts of North Carolina and Virginia, the National Hurricane Center said.

Continuing coverage, here.

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