Hurricane Michael threatens Florida with 150mph winds

Jan Cross
October 11, 2018

Michael, which had caught many by surprise with its rapid intensification as it churned north over the Gulf of Mexico, was the most powerful storm ever recorded to hit the Panhandle.

Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama issued a state-wide state of emergency on Monday "in anticipation of wide-spread power outages, wind damage, and debris produced by high winds and heavy rain associated with Hurricane Michael".

Some additional strengthening is possible before landfall, which is expected Wednesday afternoon, before weakening as it crosses across the southeastern U.S. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 145 miles per hour.

She said: "I'm anxious about my daughter and grandbaby". The most recognizable measurement, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, rates hurricanes from 1-5 based on their sustained wind speeds.

The storm continued on its destructive path, bringing heavy rains and tearing down trees.

The Carolinas are still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which left dozens dead and is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in damage last month.

Michael had top sustained winds of 150 miles per hour as its core moved over Florida's Panhandle earlier in the afternoon as forecasters warned rain could reach up to a foot and the life-threatening storm surge could swell to 14 feet (4m).

The eye of the storm was 45 miles south-southwest of Macon, Ga., as of the NHC's 11 p.m. EDT update. A man was killed by a falling tree in Tallahassee.

The only other hurricane that landed with comparable force this late in the year was Hurricane Hazel in 1954, but Michael was much stronger when it came ashore, Mr. Henson said.

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Based on its internal barometric pressure, Michael was the third most powerful hurricane to hit the USA mainland, behind the unnamed Labour Day storm of 1935 and Camille in 1969.

More than 380,000 homes and businesses were without power at the height of the storm.

There has never been a Category 4 hurricane make landfall on the Florida Panhandle - ever. "It was weird. We went outside and you could smell the pine, and there it was, laying on the chimney". "This happened so quickly", he said.

"On the forecast track, the core of Michael will move across central and eastern Georgia this morning, and then over southern and central SC later today".

About 3,500 Florida National Guard troops were deployed to assist with evacuations and storm recovery, along with more than 1,000 search-and-rescue personnel, Scott said. By Friday, it should be a post-tropical cyclone, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Trump declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Florida, freeing up federal assistance to supplement state and local disaster responses.

"Oh my God, what are we seeing?" said evacuee Rachel Franklin, her mouth hanging open.

The hurricane will likely devastate Florida's Panhandle communities. Forecasters said rainfall could reach up to a foot (30 centimeters) in spots.

At least one person was killed, an official in Gadsden County west of the state capital Tallahassee told AFP, giving the first confirmed death from the powerful storm.

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