By Carlo Versano

Tropical Storm Michael moved rapidly northeast over Georgia and the Carolinas on Thursday after coming ashore as an unprecedented Category 4 on the Florida Panhandle a day earlier and doing severe damage to coastal cities like Panama Beach.

But the biggest fears of potentially catastrophic storm surge did not appear to have been realized. Sarah Rosario, a reporter for the local CBS affiliate in St. Petersburg, Fla., told Cheddar from Crystal River that the waters there had receded, and "things are looking much better."

Up north on the panhandle, though, the damage was more severe. At least two people are dead and hundreds of thousands remain without power after Michael made a direct hit on the region. "This is the biggest storm that area has seen ever," Rosario noted. "It came out of nowhere."

The focus now turns to flooding in the southeast, where the ground remains saturated with rainwater from last month's Hurricane Florence. Michael is expected to quickly move north toward Virginia before exiting back into the Atlantic as a post-tropical system.

Michael is the fourth Category 4 storm to hit the U.S. in 14 months.

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