'Worst on record': Hurricane Michael slams Florida with winds up to 250kmh
'Worst on record': Hurricane Michael slams Florida with winds up to 250kmh
'One Scary-Looking Storm': Watch Michael Arrive in Video from Space Station
11 October, 2018, 11:39
Even before Hurricane Michael made full landfall - which is the point where the eye of the storm hits land - it was knocking down trees with powerful winds and had caused flooding in the town of Apalachicola and Port St Joe, where more than 1.5 metres of water was reported.
Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle Wednesday as the most powerful storm to strike the USA mainland in 50 years.
In the video wind gusts up to 150 miles per hour are seen ripping off the roofs of houses and buildings and even pushing down walls.
Roads were filled with piles of floating debris. It looks more like the popular spring break spot is getting bombed than hit by a storm.
"Water will come miles in shore and could easily rise over the roofs of houses".
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.
Half a million people were advised to evacuate, but officials said Wednesday morning that it was too late to flee and residents who haven't already left should hunker down.
"Hurricane Michael is an unprecedented event and can not be compared to any of our previous events". Smith said the situation was unsafe even for emergency personnel. A pine tree punched a hole in their roof and he said the roar of the storm sounded like a jet engine as the winds accelerated.
There is "one hurricane-related fatality", Olivia Smith, public information officer for the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners, said.
Smith could not provide details on the victim.
Michael was a monster storm by wind speed around the time it made landfall.
General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command, said some Florida residents may have been surprised by the rapid growth of the storm.
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Hurricane Michael has weakened to a Category 1 storm, but is still a unsafe rainmaker as it travels across Georgia.
And tornado warnings radiated out into counties near the hurricane's path in Georgia on Tuesday evening, after reports of at least two that had formed in Florida. "Tropical storm-force winds continue over central and southern Georgia, and are spreading across the coast of southeastern Georgia", the Miami-based weather forecaster said.
Forming near the Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday and having first appeared on radars just a day prior, Hurricane Michael is now situated 80 miles south-southwest of Panama City, Florida, where it is set to make landfall, and is moving northward. That sort of timetable can make evacuations more hard to manage.
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!"
"Hurricane Michael is an unprecedented event and can not be compared to any of our previous events".
The country is a particular hotspot for earthquakes as it is located on the Ring of Fire , a 40,000km area in the Pacific Ocean. An estimated 80,000 people have been displaced by the disaster, with many now living in tents outside their destroyed homes.
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A state of emergency has been declared in several dozen counties along Florida's Panhandle and Big Bend regions. An estimated 375,000 people in more than 20 counties were ordered or advised to evacuate.
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