Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

Michael charges into U.S. Southeast after slamming north Florida

Michael charges into U.S. Southeast after slamming north Florida

Hurricane Michael, the fiercest storm to hit Florida in more than 80 years and the third-most powerful ever to strike the US mainland, battered the state's Gulf coast on Wednesday with roof-shredding winds, raging surf and torrential rains. "Other storms like Hurricane Opal in 1995 actually went from a Category 4 to 3, just like most storms that make landfall on the Gulf Coast tend to weaken".

Hurricane Michael just made landfall along the Florida panhandle and it's packing much more of a punch than most assumed it would when warnings about its arrival began to spread about a week ago.

This doesn't necessarily change the forecast for our area, as we dodge areas of rain through Thursday with localized flooding possible and gusty winds at times through Friday morning. "Those who stick around to experience storm surge don't typically live to tell about it unfortunately".

Supercharged by abnormally warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Category 4 storm crashed ashore in the early afternoon near Mexico Beach, a tourist town about midway along the Panhandle, a 200-mile (320-kilometer) stretch of white-sand beach resorts, fishing towns and military bases.

As the Category 4 storm's center crossed nearby, Mulligan said, the concrete building shook and vibrated against sustained winds around 155 miles per hour.

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When Michael smashed into the coastline yesterday, debris was strewn across miles of Florida's coastline.

"It's going to be frightful", Thomas told CNN.

After the hurricane made landfall, Florida Governor Rick Scott urged those who didn't evacuate to stay in place. That sort of timetable can make evacuations more hard to manage.

Hours earlier, it made landfall in Florida as the strongest hurricane to hit the United States in almost 50 years and the third-strongest ever.

Downed powerlines are seen after hurricane Michael passed through the downtown area on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida.

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The National Weather Service office in the state capital Tallahassee issued a dramatic appeal for people to comply with evacuation orders.

The governors of North and SC urged residents to brace for more heavy rain and storm-force winds as Michael plows northward up the Atlantic seaboard.

The NWS said it had found no record of any previous Category 4 hurricanes that made landfall in the Panhandle or the "Big Bend" coastal region.

"This situation has NEVER happened before", it said on Twitter.

But many people living in counties farther east in North Central Florida were spared. Neighborhood streets flooded as waves battered the shoreline. That's a 72 per cent increase in wind speed in less than 33 hours. Hurricanes form over the Atlantic and North Pacific oceans and cause most damage to the Americas while typhoons form in the Northwest Pacific Ocean, impacting Asia.

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After Michael left the Panhandle late Wednesday, Kaylee O'Brien was crying as she sorted through the remains of the apartment she shared with three roommates at Whispering Pines apartments, where the smell of broken pine trees was thick in the air.

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