October 11, 2018 8:29 AM EDT

NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt and his crew were forced to barricade themselves inside a Florida hotel room on Wednesday to protect themselves from the devastation of Hurricane Michael.

The Category 4 storm, the third-strongest ever to have hit the mainland United States, made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday with winds of up to 155 mph.

Holt’s team filmed themselves putting a hotel mattress against a window as winds raged outside during the height of the storm.

“Put this mattress in front of the window; we want to be on the air but we’ve gotta take care of each other,” Holt says. “Know that we’re safe, but we’re going to have to sign off.”

Later, the full scale of the devastation emerged. Some buildings were leveled, streets flooded and windows blown out. Two people were confirmed killed as of Thursday morning, including an 11 year-old child.

Hurricane Michael was downgraded to a tropical storm Thursday, continuing its path up through the southeast into Georgia and toward South Carolina.

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Write to Billy Perrigo at billy.perrigo@time.com.

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