Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Science | By

Powerful Hurricane Michael kills one after making landfall in Florida

Powerful Hurricane Michael kills one after making landfall in Florida

A structure in Panama City Beach was no match for Michael's winds, as the home under construction collapsed an hour prior to the Category 4 storm's eyewall coming ashore.

As the hurricane, downgraded to a category-3 storm, moved into Alabama and Georgia on Wednesday evening, Florida Governor Rick Scott urged locals to stay inside and off the roads, as rescuers were on their way to the most heavy-hit areas.

State officials issued disaster declarations in Alabama and Georgia and the storm is also expected to bring heavy rainfall to North and SC. "I didn't expect all this", said Bill Manning, 63, a grocery clerk who left his camper van in Panama City to move into a hotel where the power eventually went out.

In Panama City, plywood and metal flew off the front of a Holiday Inn Express.

Hundreds of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate their homes and the governor told residents that if they have not already done so it was now too late.

After being battered for almost three hours by strong winds and heavy rains, roads in Panama City were virtually impassable and trees, satellite dishes and traffic lights lay in the streets.

For a state that is often struck by hurricanes, Michael is the first Cat.

With maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour, Hurricane Micheal is bearing down on the Florida panhandle this morning, having intensified into what the National Weather Service called an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane. 4 storm to hit the Florida Panhandle (in records dating back to 1851.) The storm started off as a tropical depression the weekend before, and had reached Category 2 strength just a day before it hit landfall. "It was weird. We went outside and you could smell the pine, and there it was, laying on the chimney".


The winds were so strong they brought down a billboard in Florida's Panama City, tore down a Texaco gas pumping station canopy in Inlet Beach, and the storm surge completely knocked a house of its foundations in Mexico Beach.

"This is total devastation", she told CNN.

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!" "You know, that's hard", she said, choking back tears. "This happened so quickly", he said. Only the 1935 storm and Camille had lower pressures, Mr. Klotzbach said.

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

The death, in an area west of state capital Tallahassee, was the first confirmed since Michael made landfall. It was the most powerful hurricane on record to hit the Panhandle. Up to a foot of rainfall was forecast for some areas, still recovering from Hurricane Florence's flooding.

Scientists say global warming is responsible for more intense and more frequent extreme weather, such as storms, droughts, floods and fires. The most likely cause for such sudden changes?

Without power, the city was plunged into darkness at nightfall and its flooded streets were mostly silent and devoid of people or traffic.

Hurricane Mitch reportedly killed about 19,000 people.

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