Northern Florida Hit Hard By Powerful Hurricane Michael

James Marshall
October 11, 2018

Crashing into land as a category four hurricane, Michael became the strongest hurricane ever to hit the Florida Panhandle.

Brooks says responding crews reached the home after nightfall due to clear downed power lines, poles and trees. All the way up to the Carolinas, destructive flooding from the storm's rains is expected.

Jason Phipps looks through his family's roofless apartment after Hurricane Michael made landfall in Panama City, Fla.

The hurricane is packing devastating winds as high as 150 miles per hour, and is the most powerful storm in recorded history for this part of the Florida coast.

The agency said that storm surge is continuing to inundate parts of the Florida Panhandle. Its collision with the Florida coast so far has been stunning and violent. "We thought the windows were going to break at any time", Beu said. "I'm praying to God people will be safe".

The storm came with tragic speed and unanticipated power after surfacing in the Western Caribbean as "potential tropical cyclone 14" on Saturday, 55 days before the end of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will be closed Thursday and UNC Charlotte has canceled morning classes until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, in anticipation of potentially risky driving conditions.

Images captured by Associated Press journalists show how Florida residents took shelter while waters were rising ahead of Michael's landfall.

In some states, like Virginia and North Carolina, it's a misdemeanor to refuse a mandatory evacuation order.

Sustained winds have been measured at up to 155 miles per hour, which is at the extreme upper limit of what weather experts expect from a Category 4 storm.

In 2016, Hurricane Matthew, which caused the deaths of almost 600 people in Haiti, quickly grew to a Category 5 storm with sustained winds up 165 miles an hour because of rapid intensification.

The Bush reference, meanwhile, relates to the former President flying over a Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, and surveying the damage from Air Force One, in 2005 - an event that some have argued caused lasting damage to his reputation. Only Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969 and the so-called Labor Day hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys were more intense. Bill Nelson, and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democrat running against Republican Ron DeSantis. Areas of southeastern North Carolina including Wilmington that saw at least two feet of rain during Hurricane Florence should only see around one to two inches of rain from Michael.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Thursday that the eye of Michael was about 90 miles (144 kilometers) northeast of Macon, Georgia and about 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of Augusta. More than a dozen people were directly killed by the storm in Florida, with others dying of indirect causes. Silver Star trains from NY to Miami were only running from Miami to Jacksonville.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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