Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Dramatic videos show what happened as Hurricane Michael made landfall

Satellite view of Hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico Enlarge Hurricane Michael satellite image as of 5pm ET
Kristen Harrington | 11 October, 2018, 10:49

A structure in Panama City Beach was no match for Michael's winds, as the home under construction collapsed an hour prior to the Category 4 storm's eyewall coming ashore.

Florida officials said Michael, packing winds of 155 miles per hour (250 kph), was the most powerful storm to hit the southern U.S. state in more than a century.

She said the incident was "debris-related".

Multiple airports were closed on Wednesday, including Tallahassee International Airport, Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, Pensacola International Airport and Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport.

As winds subsided in Panama City, resident Reid Garrett said his concerns shifted to flooding outside his apartment complex, which surrounded by downed trees.

An estimated 375,000 people in more than 20 counties were ordered or advised to evacuate.

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A Red Cross official said it's possible that as many as 320,000 people on Florida's Gulf Coast did not evacuate and are likely riding out the storm.

A risky storm surge continued along the coastal Florida panhandle; a National Ocean Service station in Apalachicola was reporting 5 feet of water above the ground level.

What does Hurricane Michael have in store for the Carolinas?

It said Michael was now a Category 3 storm with winds abating but still extremely unsafe at 125 miles per hour (205 kph).

"We're in trouble. We're in bad trouble, Steven", said storm chaser Brett Adair, with LiveStorms Media, in a video that was being broadcast live on Facebook by NBC 15 in Mobile, Alabama. "It was weird. We went outside and you could smell the pine, and there it was, laying on the chimney". "We have trees being uprooted, heavy, heavy rain".

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 make landfall in the continental United States.

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"It's going to be terrible", Thomas told CNN. "The emergency declaration is effective for seven days and makes all state resources available to local governments and entities within the impacted area of the hurricane", his office said. He acknowledged that a lot of the residents in the area were poor and said it was probably tough to leave.

"This happened so quickly, we weren't exactly prepared", he said.

A state of emergency has been declared in several dozen counties along Florida's Panhandle and Big Bend regions.

Trump issued an emergency declaration for Florida, freeing up federal funds for relief operations and providing the assistance of FEMA, which has more than 3,000 people on the ground.

The storm is also expected to batter North and SC both still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which left dozens dead and caused billions of dollars in damage last month.

As the hurricane moves out of Florida, Scott warned that flash floods and tornadoes are still possibilities and said "the weather is still extremely unsafe".

Hurricane Michael with 155 miles per hour winds makes landfall in Florida
Maximum sustained winds were at 155 miles per hour , which is a very strong category four hurricane. The 1 p.m. advisory on Hurricane Michael is out, and not much has changed from the previous report.

People in coastal parts of 20 Florida counties had been told to head to safer locations, but by Wednesday morning were told it was too late to flee. More than 200 people were killed. 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.

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