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Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Hurricane Michael made landfall in Mexico Beach, Fla., as a high-end Category 4 storm early Wednesday afternoon, killing at least two people and causing catastrophic damage.

The big picture: It's the strongest such storm on record to hit the Florida Panhandle and one of the strongest ever to strike the continental U.S. — and it severely impacted Florida's electricity grid and oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • It struck with the third-lowest atmospheric pressure of any storm ever to hit the continental U.S. (919 millibars), and was among the five strongest storms by sustained winds at landfall (155 mph).

Electricity losses: As of 6am this morning, there were 359,306 accounts without power, according to Florida state officials.

  • Per CNN, add that to losses in Georgia and Alabama, and the total number of customers without power is over 500,000.

Oil-and-gas: Evacuations of Gulf of Mexico oil-and-gas platforms led to 42% of Gulf oil production and 32% of gas production being shut-in as of midday yesterday, according to the Interior Department.

  • However, the storm path was east of most offshore energy infrastructure and, as S&P Global Platts noted, that production should be restored pretty fast.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Anthony Coley to lead Justice Department public affairs

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee for attorney general, has tapped Anthony Coley, an Obama-era Treasury Department official, to serve as a senior adviser and to lead public affairs at the Department of Justice, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: As the public face of the DOJ, Coley will help explain — and defend — the department's actions, from sensitive cases to prosecutorial decisions, including the investigation into Hunter Biden.

AP: Justice Dept. rescinds "zero tolerance" policy

A young girl waves to onlookers through the fence at the U.S.-Mexico border wall in San Ysidro, California, in Nov. 2018. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden's acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued a memo on Tuesday to revoke the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which separated thousands of migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, AP first reported.

Driving the news: A recent report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz emphasized the internal chaos at the agency over the implementation of the policy, which resulted in 545 parents separated from their children as of October 2020.