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Hurricane Michael devastates Mexico Beach, Florida

12 October 2018, 10:00 | Dale Webster

Gerald Herbert APA woman checks on her vehicle as Hurricane Michael passes through in Panama City Beach Fla. Oct. 10 2018

Gerald Herbert  APA woman checks on her vehicle as Hurricane Michael passes through in Panama City Beach Fla. Oct. 10 2018

Michael made landfall Wednesday in the Florida Panhandle with maximum sustained winds of 249 kilometers per hour, putting it just below Category 5 status that tops the scale used to describe the strength and destructive potential of hurricanes.

Michael had rapidly intensified as it churned north over the Gulf of Mexico in recent days, growing from a tropical storm into a Category 4 hurricane in about 40 hours and catching many by surprise.

It was not yet known what had happened to about 280 residents of Mexico Beach who authorities said had ignored evacuation orders as the storm approached the state's northwest.

Nearby Panama City Beach experienced similar damage along with other communities along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. Those numbers are added to the 350,000 accounts without power in Florida, and more than 160,000 in Georgia.

As of Thursday, the death toll was two but authorities feared it could rise in the coming days.

Hurricane Michael brings widespread damage and destruction to the Florida Panhandle; Mike Tobin reports.

A man outside Tallahassee, Florida, was killed by a falling tree, and an 11-year-old girl in Georgia died when the winds picked up a carport and dropped it on her home. A pine tree punched a hole in their roof and he said the roar of the storm sounded like a jet engine as the winds accelerated. Metal sheets flew past them as they were reporting live.

That is down from more than 963,000 customers affected by Michael, as utilities in Florida and Alabama restored service while the number of outages continue to grow in the Carolinas and Virginia as the storm moved northeast. Greene confirmed the death was storm-related.

The storm's center is now about 30 miles west of Augusta, Georgia, near the SC border.




Weather satellites tracking monster Hurricane Michael captured this incredible view of the storm's clouds over North Carolina early yesterday morning (Oct. 11).

"I told my wife, Judy, 'Come on out, you want to see what a tornado looks like?'"

An additional 16 roads have been closed, in addition to those closed by Hurricane Florence, due to downed trees and standing water, he said. Though most homes were still standing, no property was left undamaged.

"Water will come miles in shore and could easily rise over the roofs of houses", he said. They said it could take weeks before it's safe for personnel and their families to return.

National Guard troops made their way into the ground-zero town and found 20 survivors yesterday and more rescue crews were pushing into the area, with the fate of many residents unknown.

With a low barometric pressure recorded at 919 millibars, the measure of a hurricane's force, it ranked as the third strongest storm on record to make landfall in the continental United States.

Hundreds of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate their homes and the governor told residents who had not done so to "hunker down and be careful". An eight-foot storm surge inundated neighborhoods, covering some homes to the rooftop.

Numerous buildings in Panama City were demolished or left without roofs amid deserted streets littered with debris, twisted, fallen tree trunks and dangling wires.



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