Hurricane Michael causes 'unimaginable destruction' to Florida

11 October, 2018, 21:28 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • 'Monster' Hurricane Michael strengthens on its way to Florida

Hurricane Michael, the most powerful hurricane on record to hit Floridas Panhandle, left behind a remarkable wake of destruction during its swift pass through the state Wednesday.

After 1950, 4 major hurricanes came ashore in Panhandle: "Eloise" in 1975, Opal in 1995, Dennis in 2005, and in 2018 - "Michael".

A man died from a tree falling onto his house in Florida, and a girl was killed after debris fell into her Georgia home.

He also became the first major hurricane of category 3 or higher that hit Florida after hurricane Dennis in 2005.

What are the latest developments?

Hurricane-force winds extended up to 45 miles (75 kilometres) from Michael's centre at the height of the storm.

"This morning, Florida's Gulf Coast and Panhandle and the Big Bend are waking up to unimaginable destruction", Governor Rick Scott said.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for.

Michael is now moving northwards at 12mph.

As it came ashore, Michael was just shy of a Category 5 - defined as a storm packing top sustained wind speeds of 157 miles per hour or above.

With a low barometric pressure recorded at 919 millibars, the measure of a hurricane's force, Michael ranked as the third strongest storm on record to hit the continental United States, behind only Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969 and the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys.

"If you and your family made it through the storm safely, the worst thing you could do now is act foolishly", he said.

"I am not seeing the level of traffic on the roadways that I would expect when we've called for the evacuation of 75 percent of this county", Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said. An 80-mile stretch of Interstate 10, the main east-west route along the Panhandle, was closed.

In Panama City, 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Mexico Beach, buildings were crushed and boats were scattered around.

But Michael's quick progress means it won't have a chance to trigger the same widespread, epic flooding as past slow-moving hurricanes such as Florence and Harvey, which unleashed seemingly endless rains after stalling and hovering inland.

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He said he plans to visit storm-ravaged areas as soon as he can. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm. More than 40,000 people lost power across the state.


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North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told residents: "I know people are worn out from Florence, but don't let this storm catch you with your guard down".

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee said a hurricane "of this strength has NEVER made landfall in this region and thus this is an event that will have unprecedented impacts". We are also working with federal, state and local officials to provide public shelter and accommodate those evacuating from other states.

Adrian Mahangos hopes he is one of the lucky ones.

Despite the storm, Trump headed to his planned Wednesday night rally in Pennsylvania, telling reporters, "We have thousands of people lined up".

Mr Mahangos is not going anywhere.

At the White House, President Donald Trump said, "God bless everyone because it's going to be a rough one", he said.

Just an hour along the coast, it's different. Roads and yards were covered in sand that the waters had brought ashore.

Storm chaser Chris, from SS Storm Chasers told Tim Dower he has been following storms for years and it was unlike anything he's ever seen.

Those that remain will be facing a frightening ordeal.

"Hurricane Michael is an unprecedented event and can not be compared to any of our previous events".

The hurricane earlier reportedly killed 13 people as it passed through Central America: six in Honduras, four in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador.

Images on social media showed evacuating families wading through water to get to safety.

The wanderings of hurricanes vary widely, steered by wind currents and high- and low-pressure systems; some storms race across oceans and land while others dawdle.

Offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have evacuated workers, halting almost a fifth of daily production.

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