Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Michael 3rd most intense USA landfalling hurricane on record

Michael strengthens into Category 4 | News 'Worst on record': Hurricane Michael slams Florida with winds up to 250kmh
Kristen Harrington | 11 October, 2018, 14:42

The Category 4 storm created storm surges up to 14 feet in areas, inflicted damages across Tyndall Air Force Base east of Panama City and spawned at least two "devastating" tornadoes in Gadsden County.

It has been called the worst storm in 100 years by Florida Governor Rick Scott.

The wind and storm surge related insurance industry loss from hurricane Michael is estimated to be between $2 billion and $4.5 billion by Corelogic, based on a pre-landfall data assessment of the storms impacts to insured assets.

"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.

There were no immediate reports of casualties but officials were fearing the worst. A cold front passing through Thursday night will draw up some tropical moisture from Michael and a band of downpours will pass through between 6 p.m. and Midnight. According to the US Energy Information Administration.

"Hurricane Michael is a deadly Category 4 storm".

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Even before landfall, the hurricane disrupted energy operations in the Gulf, cutting crude oil production by more than 40% and natural gas output by almost a third as offshore platforms were evacuated ahead of the storm's arrival. The debris was a problem in many coastal communities and still hundreds of thousands of people were also left without power.

Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said early evacuation efforts in the area were slow.

The St. Marks River overflows into the city of St. Marks, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.

Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia issued an emergency declaration for 92 counties in the southern part of that state. But the fast-moving, fast-strengthening storm didn't give people much time to prepare, and emergency authorities lamented that many ignored the warnings and seemed to think they could ride it out. The Carolinas are still reeling from severe flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence less than a month ago.

National Hurricane Center Meteorologist Dennis Feltgen said: "We are in new territory".

Michael roared ashore near Mexico Beach about 1 p.m. central time Wednesday, becoming the most powerful storm to ever strike the Panhandle and the fourth strongest to make landfall in the U.S.

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Michael is continuing to strengthen as its minimum central pressure has dropped to 919 millibars. Four pine trees had crashed through the roof of her apartment, almost hitting two people. More than 380,000 homes and businesses were without power at the height of the storm.

That means Michael's pressure at landfall was lower than Maria, Katrina and Andrew.

At this moment hurricane Michael is still impacting areas such as Tallahasee and onwards into Georgia with hurricane force winds and hence damage potential continues and loss amounts will still be increasing as Michael tracks further inland.

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

Maximum sustained winds remained at 150 miles per hour as the storm was moving north-northeast at 14 miles per hour.

As the Tallahassee office of the National Weather Service said on Twitter earlier Wednesday: "If you're not sheltered in place now, you need to be!"

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