Gov. Deal speaks about disaster response after Michael

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Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and state agency officials are speaking about disaster response following Hurricane Michael.

Governor Deal said the first main focus in Georgia will be on debris removal, so power companies and repair crews can access areas without power. 

With more than 400,000 power outages reported across Georgia, the first priority will be damage assessment and restoring power. 

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On Wednesday, Michael washed away white-sand beaches, hammered military bases and destroyed coastal communities, stripping trees to stalks, shredding roofs, toppling trucks and pushing boats into buildings.

Many homes were ripped apart or washed away altogether in Mexico Beach, the town of 1,000 where the hurricane came ashore. Michael's storm surge pushed lead-gray water up to the rooftops.

The storm ripped through Georgia during the overnight nights into early Thursday morning, leaving behind a massive trail of damage. 

Authorities said an 11-year-old girl was killed in Georgia when the winds picked up a carport and dropped it on her home. One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit her in the head.

Michael was also responsible for at least two possible tornadoes in Georgia. 

The storm was expected to move across North Carolina and Virginia and push into the Atlantic Ocean by late Thursday or early Friday.

Ahead of the storm, Gov. Nathan Deal expanded Georgia's state of emergency to 108 counties after changes to the path of Hurricane Michael.

Shelters opened in Macon and Columbus for storm evacuees, as well as camping space at Atlanta Motor Speedway. 

MORE: Florida Panhandle reeling from historic storm