Hurricane Michael Decimates Florida Panhandle, Kills at Least One

Hurricane Michael Decimates Florida Panhandle, Kills at Least One

Boats are seen in a pile of rubble after hurricane Michael passed through the downtown area on October 10, 2018, in Panama City, Florida.

Based on its internal barometric pressure, Michael was the third most powerful hurricane to hit the US mainland, behind the unnamed Labor Day storm of 1935 and Camille in 1969. "The historical record, going back to 1851, finds no Category 4 hurricane ever hitting the Florida Panhandle".

Officials reported at least one storm-related fatality. A man in Greensboro, Florida, was killed when a tree fell on his house, a spokesperson for the Gadsden County sheriff said.

It appeared to be so powerful that it was expected to remain a hurricane as it moved into Alabama and Georgia early Thursday. Storm surge is going to be the worse where eye makes landfall - just to the east or south of where the eye makes landfall...

Some parts of the Carolinas and southern Virginia, recently deluged by Hurricane Florence, could see up to 6 inches, the hurricane center said.

It is rare for a storm to be at Category 5 strength as it makes landfall in the U.S. The last one was Hurricane Andrew in South Florida in August 1992.

At 11.00 am Eastern time (0200 AEDT), Michael was about 95 kms south-southwest of Panama City and moving north-northeast at 22km/h, the NHC said.

In St. Marks, John Hargan and his family gathered up their pets and moved to a raised building constructed to withstand a Category 5 after water from the St. Marks River began surrounding their home.

Michael is predicted to be a tropical storm by the time it reaches the SC border with Georgia, according to the National Weather Service.

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Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for 92 counties in his state, and a state of emergency also was announced in North Carolina. He said he plans to visit storm-ravaged areas as soon as he can.

In Port St. Joe, two storm chasers had to abandon their vehicle and find shelter as over 100 miles per hour wind gusts and heavy rain made it impossible for them to drive. Some of those areas are still working to recover from Hurricane Florence.

"We're going to see a lot of wind damage", Long said, and some residents could expect not to have power restored for weeks.

More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were urged to evacuate as Michael closed in.

Hurricane Michael's battering waves swamped streets and docks and shrieking winds splintered trees and rooftops.

Even before landfall, the hurricane disrupted energy operations in the Gulf, cutting crude oil production by more than 40 percent and natural gas output by almost a third as offshore platforms were evacuated ahead of the storm's arrival.

Central pressure is the measure of how much the atmosphere in the middle of a storm weighs. Ranked as a Category 4, the disaster ruined the town's commercial industry and its status as a major port whilst claiming the lives of up to 12,000 inhabitants.

Michael was a monster storm by wind speed around the time it made landfall.

"We've been very cautious with sending our first responders out right now", she said, after Michael made landfall as a raging Category 4 hurricane that toppled trees and power lines.

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