The Guardian's Jamiles Lartey is in Marianna, Florida and has lost communication until this morning. But he sent SMS last night, as it was when the eye and the ramparts of the storm passed. At 11 o'clock ET on Wednesday he wrote:
"It got right over me, we're getting wet tires, I can not watch TV at all, no power in the hotel I'm in, but that does not surprise me, but I've never experienced anything like that."
People reportedly barricaded themselves near the coast to fend off the wind that blew on doors and walls. NBC's Lester Holt and his crew saw a mattress over the window of their hotel room. In a room above, which he said belonged to one of his producers, the window blew in, clearly enough with enough force to scatter glass splinters across the room. There was nobody in the room at the time.
Lartey, 72 miles inland from Mexico Beach, where the direct blow was experienced, had tape with him to lay over the windows, but in the end, it did not need it. Last night, just before 11am, he wrote: "Have heard five or six glass breaks in the last 90 minutes, the roof in the hotel opposite is tattered, the sign too."
When the wind howled, Lartey had to retire behind the bed in his hotel room for safety reasons. His window stopped. "We're behind the hurricane winds now," he said before his communication went out. At dawn we bring you more news from Jamiles when we hear from him.
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