Hurricane Michael left path of destruction, isn’t done yet

Jan Cross
October 11, 2018

The storm, the first-ever powerful Category 4 hurricane to hit the Panhandle, made landfall at 1 p.m. In the D.C. area, its effects are a few days off and should be limited.

The storm was centered about 70 miles SW of Albany, Georgia.

On Wednesday, she called for showers Thursday morning for most of the area, with rain increasing over the rest of the day and totaling 1 to 2 inches, with more south and east of D.C.

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

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Leslie and Tropical Storm Nadine are no threat to land over the open Atlantic Ocean, but Tropical Storm Sergio is expected to hit Mexico's Baja California Peninsula later this week and threaten the southern U.S. Plains and the Ozarks by the weekend.

Based on its internal barometric pressure, Michael was the most powerful hurricane to blow ashore on the United States mainland since Camille in 1969.

The National Weather Service issued multiple tornado warnings in Georgia as the hurricane pushed through the state, and local media report tornadoes had touched down near Roberta, Perry and Fort Valley in Central Georgia.

Life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds and heavy rainfall arrived with Michael, which is inundating the coastline.

Michael, the strongest hurricane to hit the Florida Panhandle since the mid-1800s, immediately left a trail of destruction as it tore down buildings and submerged neighborhoods. Part of the awning fell and shattered the glass front door of the hotel, and the rest of the awning wound up on vehicles parked below it.

Long, the head of FEMA, said many Florida buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

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Michael was forecast to bring a storm surge up to 14 feet (4.3 metres) in some areas.

Brooks said several hours passed before emergency officials could reach the unincorporated area where the incident took place.

Measured in this way the lower the pressure the stronger the hurricane - Michael was the most powerful since Hurricane Camille in 1969. The roar from the hurricane sounded like an airplane taking off.

Colorado State University hurricane expert Phil Klotzbach said in an email: "I really fear for what things are going to look like there tomorrow at this time". "The historical record, going back to 1851, finds no Category 4 hurricane ever hitting the Florida Panhandle".

Meteorologists use another measure to evaluate hurricane intensity: central pressure. But without extensive study, they can not directly link a single weather event to the changing climate.

The storm knocked the broadcast of Panama City-based WMBB off the air after the television station lost power, one of more than 263,000 customers experiencing blackouts in Florida. Palm trees whipped wildly in the winds.

"It feels like you don't know when the next tree is going to fall on top of you because its blowing so ferociously", said Port St. Joe Mayor Bo Patterson. Michael is now positioned 60 miles south-southwest of Panama City.

She could not say what time the death occurred or give any details about the victim.

But Kottlowski noted that meteorologists are still analyzing Hurricane Michael, and it's possible that it will be retroactively upgraded to Category 5 status based on wind speeds.

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