Florida

‘Wasn’t a Wise Choice to Stay’ During Hurricane Michael, Panama City Residents Say After Storm Made Landfall

Michael is considered the third strongest hurricane to strike the continental U.S.

As Hurricane Michael barreled down over Panama City, many who hunkered down in their homes say they did not expect the storm to be this dangerous.

Considered the third strongest hurricane to hit the continental United States, Michael made landfall Wednesday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm, with winds reaching up to 155 mph.

"Been through a couple of hurricanes before, but this one was pretty rough," said resident Chasen Zibikowski. "It wasn't a wise choice to stay, and I definitely won't be staying for the next one."

The roof flew off of Zbikowski's home as he hid in the bathroom.

"We prayed quite a few times," he said.

A few blocks away, Bobby Keys experienced the same catastrophe.

"I'm still in awe right now," Keys said. "Like I don't know what we're going to do. Basically probably relocate because this is going to take a while to fix."

Hurricane Michael wreaked havoc, destroying buildings and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of residents. Its terrifying winds were so powerful, toppling over a freight train.

"It sounded like a railroad train coming. Very loud," resident Richard Cole said.

Authorities on Wednesday evening have confirmed at least one death as a result of Michael. In Greensboro, Florida, a man died after a tree fell and crushed his home.

In Panama City, most are grateful to be hugging their families a little tighter.

"I'm just glad everyone is safe," said resident James Cole. "The house can be destroyed for all I care, as long as I got these guys with me, I'm happy."

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