But it's still menacing the Southeast with heavy rains, winds and a threat of spinoff tornadoes.
Asked if there would be more evacuation orders, he said officials were monitoring the situation but that people in potentially affected areas should not take any chances against such a large storm surge.
CNN reported a sixth death, a 38-year-old man who died on Thursday when a tree fell on his auto in North Carolina.
Albrecht, the Mexico Beach councilwoman, would like to return home, but she says the roads are impassible.
Florida is used to storms but the Panhandle, with its low-lying coastal strip and scattered communities, hasn't seen anything this strong for more than a dozen years.
"I guess it's the worst case scenario". "There were several times I thought maybe I should have left".
More than a million people are without electricity, and areas along the Gulf Coast and elsewhere report severe outages of cellphone service and other communications. "We are still getting down there", the governor added.
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The intense power of Michael caught many people off guard.
Many flights were canceled in the hurricane zone, and Amtrak changed some train schedules to protect passengers and employees.
"Along a canal and the beach, foundations mark where homes once stood". No longer. Michael was expected to bring surging seas up 9 feet (2.75 meters) above ground level at Keaton Beach.
Panama City was also ravaged by the hurricane, with drone footage showing homes and schools completely torn apart.
At the Tyndall Air Force Base, about 15 miles northwest of Mexico Beach, the monster storm pushed over trucks and peeled back the roof of a massive airplane hangar.
Storm waters rising in Gulf Breeze, Florida.
"The center of Michael will move across eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia this evening, and move into the western Atlantic Ocean tonight", it said.
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Sitting outside his home, reading a magazine, less than 100 yards from the water's edge in Wynnehaven, he knows Hurricane Michael is now due to make landfall 50 or 60 miles to his east.
"It's total devastation - no power, no water, no communication", she said. Be safe and listen to the advice of emergency officials.
But some officials were anxious by what they weren't seeing - a rush of evacuees.
One of the four victims from Florida has been identified as Steven Sweet, the Gadsden County sheriff's office said.
Gov. Rick Scott called the destruction from Wednesday's storm "unimaginable", as "homes are gone, businesses are gone". "When the doors to the church were open she would want to be there", her father Roy Radney said. "But in my experience, it's always blown way out of proportion".
200: Approximate number of patients who will be evacuated from Bay Medical Center Sacred Heart in Panama City, Florida, on Thursday morning and transferred to regional facilities, after the storm shattered windows and stripped down walls at the hospital. That included Pensacola Beach but not in Pensacola itself, a city of about 54,000.
Now a tropical storm with winds of 50 miles per hour, Michael is expected to gain strength as it passes into Virginia and moves into the western Atlantic Ocean overnight, bringing damaging winds and life-threatening flash flooding over parts of North Carolina and Virginia.
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