Hurricane Michael: Category four storm lashes Florida coast

Ismael LynchOct 12, 2018

A Florida woman who was planning her wedding is now planning how to rebuild her town, and possibly her home, after the devastation left behind by Hurricane Michael.

The hurricane strengthened due to the warmer than normal water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico.

Though wind speed is the basis for hurricane categories, central pressure is actually a better measure of damage that a hurricane will cause, a study published previous year in the journal Nature Communications found.

He said flash flooding and tornados were still possible, and said officials had heard reports of at least two tornados in Florida.

At least 13 storm-related deaths have been reported in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Florida Governor Rick Scott says search and rescue teams are heading into the U.S. state's hardest-hit areas to help survivors of Hurricane Michael.

"We are catching some hell", Timothy Thomas, who rode out the storm with his wife in their home in Panama City Beach, Florida, told the Associated Press news agency.

Once they finally punched through Hurricane Michael's eyewall, Disharoon and the rest of the Hurricane Hunter crew were treated to a spectacular sight.

Michael was blamed for at least one death and knocked out power to almost a half million after crashing ashore.

At least one death has been reported since Hurricane Michael began wreaking havoc in the Florida Panhandle Wednesday as the strongest storm to hit the continental USA since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. A metal carport was picked up by the wind and crashed through the roof of a structure, hitting the girl's head, said Travis Brooks, the county's emergency management director. Only 5,000 or so have showed up at shelters, suggesting that a large number of people ignored officials' advice, he said.

As of Thursday morning, more than 500,000 customers still don't have their electricity restored across Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

Because Michael had not been expected to intensify as it did, thousands of coastal residents made a decision to ride it out at home, said Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.

"Going back through records to 1851 we can't find another Cat 4 in this area, so this is unfortunately a historical and incredibly unsafe and life-threatening situation", he said.

Even before Michael made full landfall, it was whipping trees with its winds and had caused flooding in the town of Apalachicola, where more than 5 feet (1.5 meters) of water was reported, and about 20 miles away (32 km) in Port St. Joe.

Schools and state offices in the area are to remain shut this week.

The NHC said at 6 p.m.

The US National Hurricane Centre said the core of the storm would push through southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia on Wednesday evening (Thursday afternoon NZT).

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