(Reuters) - More than 403,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Georgia and Alabama were without power on Wednesday as Hurricane Michael battered the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to local power companies.
Michael, the fiercest storm to hit Florida in a quarter century, was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane. It made landfall early in the afternoon near Mexico Beach, about 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Panama City in Florida’s Panhandle region, with top sustained winds reaching 155 miles per hour (249 kph).
The storm came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale.
Duke Energy Corp DUK.N estimated Hurricane Michael could cause between 100,000 and 200,000 of its customers to lose power in Florida. The company said some outages could last several days to more than a week.
Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan, Swati Verma in Bengaluru and Scott DiSavino in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney
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