10/11/2018 01:07 pm ET

The storm has killed at least two people and caused millions of dollars in damages.

Hurricane Michael brought destruction to northern Florida this week, toppling trees and powerlines, blowing apart homes and businesses, and submerging neighborhoods.

The Category 4 storm ― the third-most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland since records have been kept ― emerged from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday afternoon.

Michael churned across the Florida Panhandle with 155 mph winds, causing a 10-foot storm surge to spill from the ocean basin. An estimated 780,000 homes and businesses were without power Thursday.

Only two storms have been stronger than Michael was at its peak, according to The Associated Press: an unnamed Labor Day storm that struck the U.S. mainland in 1935 and Hurricane Camille in 1969.

Authorities said the hurricane caused millions of dollars and damages and claimed at least two lives before it barreled into southern Georgia as a Category 3 hurricane. It had weakened to a Category 1 by the time it reached the central part of the state, and was downgraded to a tropical storm as it continued to threaten the Southeast on Thursday. 

See the destruction the storm brought to coastal communities in Florida:

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