Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Visuals of How Much Damage Hurricane Michael Inflicted on the Gulf Coast

National Hurricane Center track for Hurricane Michael as of Tuesday afternoon National Hurricane Center track for Hurricane Michael as of Tuesday afternoon
Derrick Tucker | 12 October, 2018, 22:48

Michael came ashore Wednesday afternoon as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, and slashed a path of near-total destruction across the Florida Panhandle and into southeastern Georgia.

A few days ago, Hurricane Michael was forecast to strike the Florida Panhandle as a relatively weak hurricane, and though unsafe, it was not meant to be historic.

Charlotte, North Carolina's largest city, was expecting as much as six inches of rain and wind gusts exceeding 30 miles per hour.

"Michael" became the first hurricane of the 4th category, coming ashore in Panhandle (FL).

- Power outages: More than 932,000 customers in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and SC without power. More than 80 deaths were linked to that storm, according to The Associated Press - including residents of a nursing home.

Search teams continued to pick their way through the ruins of Mexico Beach, the ground-zero town of about 1,000 people that was almost wiped off the map when Michael blew ashore there on Wednesday with devastating 155 miles per hour winds. The storm has since moved on to Georgia, and is expected to head northeast through the Carolinas and Virginia.

Heavy rains are forecast for the Carolinas, which were drenched by Hurricane Florence last month. The National Hurricane Center reported a 209kmph wind gust near the evacuated Tyndall Air Force Base - and said that the measuring instrument had then failed.

According to Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist specialized in Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane forecasts, Michael was ranked the third strongest hurricane in terms of landfall pressure.

In Mexico Beach, with a population of 1,000, the storm shattered homes, leaving floating piles of lumber. Numerous buildings in Panama City were demolished or left without roofs amid deserted streets littered with debris, twisted, fallen tree trunks and dangling wires. Trees were also flatted by the storm.

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At least 13 people reportedly died in Central America over the weekend as a result of storm rains and floods. Authorities said 285 people in Mexico Beach had refused to leave ahead of the hurricane despite a mandatory evacuation order. "Houses where the gas was left on caught fire in Mexico Beach, threatening to burn down the entire neighborhood".

"We have a massive flow of search and rescue, Highway Patrol, National Guard, utility workers, pushing their way down to these impacted areas", the governor said. Hurricane Michael is directly hitting a less densely populated section of Florida, and the fast- moving nature of the storm will likely mean less-severe flooding inland, away from the storm surge.

SAINT MARKS, FL - OCTOBER 10: The Cooter Stew Cafe starts taking water in the town of Saint Marks as Hurricane Michael pushes the storm surge up the Wakulla and Saint Marks Rivers which come together here on October 10, 2018 in Saint Marks, Florida.

President Donald Trump promised to provide speedy assistance to help recovery efforts.

- To the rescue: U.S. Coast Guard crews have pulled 27 people from damaged homes along Florida's coastline.

The Pentagon positioned more than 2,200 active-duty military personnel, along with helicopters, high-water vehicles and swift-water boats.

Although Tallahassee avoided a direct hit from the Category 4 storm, Mayor Andrew Gillum said on Facebook that "our community has been pretty significantly impacted".

It will take some time for residents of north Florida to take stock of the enormity of the disaster. All vessels greater than 500 gross tons without permission to remain in port, should have departed or should be prepared to depart prior to the setting of port condition Zulu.

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