Published: Sun, October 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Florida reported the first victim of the devastating hurricane

Florida reported the first victim of the devastating hurricane

As it came ashore, Michael was just shy of a Category 5 - defined as a storm packing top sustained wind speeds of 157 miles per hour or above. The hurricane has given national exposure to Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. "So many lives have been changed forever".

Early Thursday, he said that Michael was "definitely one of the most violent [hurricanes] I've been in".

Now, having weakened to a tropical storm, Michael was on its way to the Carolinas. Tornado warnings were also in effect for most of northern Florida and Georgia.

In Port Condition Yankee, the tropical storm force winds are anticipated within 24 hours and the affected ports are closed to inbound vessel traffic greater than 500 gross tons.

- Power outages: Roughly a million customers in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and SC lost power. Hospitals had to be evacuated. An 80-mile (130-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 10, the main east-west route, was closed. Beaches disappeared, military bases were damaged, cars and trucks were flipped and smashed.

The numbers in emergency shelters were expected to swell to 20,000 across five states by Friday, said Brad Kieserman of the American Red Cross.

Marchetti said his volunteer search teams, consisting mostly of off-duty police officers and firefighters, also had rescued or accounted for 345 others previously reported to CrowdSource Rescue since Michael struck on Wednesday. "One hundred percent of our focus is on rescue and recovery from this devastating storm", Scott said.

Hurricane Michael has left extensive damage in Panama City, with broken and uprooted trees and power lines down almost everywhere.

Even before landfall, the hurricane disrupted energy operations in the Gulf, cutting crude oil production by more than 40 percent and natural gas output by almost one-third as offshore platforms were evacuated before the storm hit. The damage at Bay Medical Sacred Heart included blown-out windows and a cracked exterior wall though no patients were hurt.

Cook grew up in Robertsdale, Alabama, a city of roughly 5,200 people located roughly halfway between Mobile and Pensacola, Florida. Storm surge is worse now than it was 100 years ago, thanks to the rise in sea levels. A helicopter dropped water and food at the facility on Thursday after a tree downed during the storm caused a water line to break.

Michael is shaking up the upcoming election in the battleground state of Florida, and that could benefit Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is the Democratic nominee for governor.

At least two people were killed as Hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the continental the U.S., slammed into the state of Florida, unleashing a trail of destruction by flooding beach towns, peeling off roofs and snapping trees before advancing to the Carolinas. The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Leslie and Tropical Storm Nadine are no threat to land over the open Atlantic Ocean, but Tropical Storm Sergio is expected to hit Mexico's Baja California Peninsula later this week and threaten the southern U.S. Plains and the Ozarks by the weekend.

Areas of Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia could see as much as 9 inches of rain in parts and it "could lead to life-threatening flash floods".

State officials issued disaster declarations in Alabama and Georgia and the storm is also expected to bring heavy rainfall to North and SC. A falling tree killed a man after it crashed into his home in Greensboro, Florida, authorities said.

Rescuers are unable to reach the victim because of blocked roads and broken power lines, said the police.

It comes less than a month after Hurricane Florence devastated the Carolinas, killing 48 people and destroying thousands of homes. The first was a man hit by a falling tree in Gadsden County, Florida, on Wednesday, WTXL reported. The Corps was preparing to cover tens of thousands of rooftops, according to a senior official.

"Hurricane Michael can not break Florida", Scott vowed.

- High water: storm surge of 6 feet (2 meters) up to 14 feet (4 meters) forecast for Florida's Panhandle and Big Bend.

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