Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Waiting ends: Michael makes landfall with 155 miles per hour winds

Waiting ends: Michael makes landfall with 155 miles per hour winds

A day after the supercharged storm crashed ashore amid white sand beaches, fishing towns and military bases, Michael was no longer a Category 4 monster packing 250 km/h winds. "The historical record, going back to 1851, finds no Category 4 hurricane ever hitting the Florida panhandle".

After Hurricane Michael ripped through the Florida Panhandle Wednesday with catastrophic winds and rain, many people were recovering from the devastation.

Power was out in almost 90 percent of Bay County, which includes Panama City, as night fell Wednesday.

After landfall in Florida, Michael's strong winds and heavy rains thrashed Georgia and headed toward the Carolinas, including areas that got a soaking last month from Hurricane Florence.

More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were warned to evacuate, and the hurricane's leading edge sent storm surge into neighbourhoods as it approached.

Michael was a meteorological brute that sprang quickly from a weekend tropical depression, going from a Category 2 on Tuesday to a Category 4 by the time it came ashore.

"Storm surge estimates are anywhere between nine and 14 feet". "Storm surge can occur before, during, or after the center of a storm passes through an area".

"That's one scary-looking storm", NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor said in an audio feed from the station shortly before the storm hit land.

"The pressure gives an idea of the size of the storm", he said.

Bill Manning, a 63-year-old grocery clerk, fled his camper van in Panama City for safer quarters in a hotel only to see the electricity there go out. The NHC forecasts up to 8 inches for the panhandle, southeast Alabama, and parts of southwest and central Georgia.

What does Hurricane Michael have in store for the Carolinas? Predating modern meteorological technology, the formation point and exact wind strengths of the hurricane are unknown.

Population centres that could witness some of the most severe hurricane effects include Fort Walton Beach, Destin and Panama City Beach. A risky storm surge continued along the coastal Florida panhandle; a National Ocean Service station in Apalachicola was reporting 5 feet of water above the ground level.

"Where homes were, they are not", Ginger Zee, ABC's chief meteorologist, said in a video posted on Twitter. Nadine is expected to fizzle out and dissipate in the open waters after running into wind shear, drier air and slightly cooler ocean temperatures, the hurricane center said.

Michael is forecast to move off the Mid-Atlantic coast by early Friday, the NHC said.

- Tropical Storm Nadine's maximum sustained winds increased to 65 miles per hour Wednesday.

More than 380,000 homes and businesses were without power at the height of the storm.

President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Florida, freeing up federal assistance to supplement state and local disaster responses. It was only two miles per hour slower than a Category 5.

In the case of Michael the damage will be mainly from wind rather than rain.

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