Florida Eyes Turn to Cleanup After Powerful Hurricane Michael

Terry Joseph
October 13, 2018

The storm is the first hurricane of this intensity to strike the area since records began in 1851 and the third most powerful to ever strike the US.

The devastating storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane near Panama City, Florida, around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday and is now cutting through the southern states.

The storm, which came ashore as a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, tore apart entire neighborhoods in the Panhandle.

And, impressively, Michael's top sustained winds are growing again, to near 65 miles per hour (100 kph) at 5 a.m., with forecasters saying it will grow stronger still.

At least two people, including a girl killed by a falling tree, have died as a result of Michael, according to reports.

Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Fla., Wednesday with 155 miles per hour winds - just below Category 5 strength - and peeled off roofs, flooded streets and uprooted trees.

"Unfortunately, as handsome as the storm is up top, it is deadly down below", Disharoon said. "My God, it's scary".

At nightfall, the city was plunged into darkness, its flooded streets mostly silent and devoid of people or traffic.

Some Floridians returned to their homes to assess damage late Thursday. The fate of about 280 residents who authorities said ignored evacuation orders was unknown.

"Ken Graham, director of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, said Michael was "unfortunately, a historical and incredibly risky and life-threatening situation".

Jason Gunderson of the Cajun Navy said flooding and downed power lines made most streets impassible.

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They are headed to Collier and Bay counties. More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were ordered or urged to clear out as Michael closed in.

"The rapid intensification of these storms, which was part of what made them so risky and devastating, is something models are telling us global warming should make more common globally over the present century", said Gabriel Vecchi, one of the authors of the study and a climate scientist at Princeton University. "Houses that have been there forever are just shattered". I don't know where they are. "It's very, very scary".

"We haven't seen her since the tree hit the den". "Sometimes people's personal lives need to stay personal". "This happened so quickly", he said.

Michael roared ashore Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane near Mexico Beach, rendering the city almost unrecognizable.

After making landfall Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 storm, Hurricane Michael ripped through the Florida panhandle, leaving a scarred path of broken buildings, uprooted trees, and splintered homes in its wake.

"Satellite images of Michael's evolution on Tuesday night were, in a word, jaw-dropping", wrote Bob Henson, a meteorologist with weather site Weather Underground.

Search-and-rescue teams fanned out across the Florida Panhandle to reach trapped people in Michael's wake Thursday after the third-most powerful hurricane on record to hit the continental USA carved a path of destruction across the Southeast.

Long after landfall, Hurricane Michael's impact was still being felt along the Florida coast and much further inland, and the recovery process is going to be long and hard for those who lost homes and property to Michael's devastating winds and water.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will focus efforts on rescuing those trapped by flooding and other damage.

While authorities are preparing to set up extra shelters and move people into more secure areas, they are also using FloridaDisaster.org top post notices on when residents can go back to their homes.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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