Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Hurricane Michael roars into Florida

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Michael also disrupted energy operations in the US Gulf of Mexico as it approached land, cutting crude oil production by more than 40 per cent and natural gas output by almost one-third as offshore platforms were evacuated.

A New Orleans meteorologist got the rare opportunity to see inside Hurricane Michael and he took a camera along with him.

The initial flight was smooth, but things got steadily more turbulent as the aircraft got closer and closer to the eye of the storm.

Interested in Hurricane Michael? Only 5,000 or so have showed up at shelters, suggesting that a large number of people ignored officials' advice, he said. "The turbulence was astounding, but it was all worth it, because once you make it through the eyewall, you finally make it into the eye". The storm hit the Florida Panhandle and southwest Georgia hard, taking the lives of at least two people.

Extremely powerful Hurricane Michael crashed into Florida's northwestern Panhandle coast on Wednesday, flooding towns and ripping up trees with 155 mile per hour (249 kph) winds and the potential for a devastating storm surge.

From Florida to Alabama and Georgia to the Carolinas, over 900,000 homes and businesses have lost electricity.

Gen, Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said some Florida residents may have been taken by surprise by the rapid escalation of the storm.

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The NWS said it had found no record of any previous Category 4 hurricanes that made landfall in the Panhandle or the "Big Bend" coastal region.

Haley Nelson inspects damages to her family properties in the Panama City, Fla., spring field area after Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida's Panhandle on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.br / The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm.

President Donald Trump told reporters he will most likely visit Florida on Sunday or Monday to meet with local officials and survey damage from the storm. "On the forecast track, the core of Michael will move across southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia through this evening", the agency said in its update.

As the Category 4 storm's center crossed nearby, Mulligan said, the concrete building shook and vibrated against sustained winds around 155 miles per hour.

Based on wind speed, it was the fourth-strongest, behind the Labor Day storm (184 mph), Camille and Andrew in 1992. The National Park Service is also warning that portions of NC 12, which connects the state's barrier islands, could be washed out by the storm surge. The area is known for its small beach towns, wildlife reserves and the state capital, Tallahassee.

NHC's Graham warned that the storm would continue to pack tropical storm-force winds when it reached the Carolinas, still reeling from severe flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence last month. About 3,500 Florida National Guard troops were deployed, along with more than 1,000 search-and-rescue personnel, Governor Scott said. On Thursday, Michael was drenching the Carolinas with heavy rains as it headed toward the Atlantic Ocean as a tropical storm.

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