A man died Wednesday after a tree fell on a home near Greensboro, Florida, the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office said. Emergency crews were heading to the home, but downed power lines and blocked roads were making the trip hard.
There were no immediate reports of casualties but officials were fearing the worst.
Michael is predicted to be a tropical storm by the time it reaches the SC border with Georgia, according to the National Weather Service. By 8pm, it was down to a category 1. Beachfront structures could be seen collapsing and metal roofing materials were blown away amid the heavy rain.
Previous year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Harvey, which caused a record-equaling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.
A tree lays on a home and auto after hurricane Michael passed through the area on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida.
Linda Albrecht, a councilwoman in Mexico Beach, spoke to the network about leaving her home with only a few essential objects.
She said the incident was "debris-related". "It's like a nightmare". "You just don't know when the next one is going down". How can this happen?
"We're going to do everything we can and send people out to keep people safe". "That's the only thing I can imagine".
But many people living in counties farther east in North Central Florida were spared.
While originally a Category 1 storm, Michael was upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane just hours before it was set to make landfall.
Powerful winds, devastating storm surge and heavy rain are predicted in the Florida Panhandle, the finger-shaped strip of land along the Gulf of Mexico.
An estimated 6,000 evacuees took cover in emergency shelters, a lot of them in Florida, and that number was expected to swell to 20,000 across five states by week's end, Kieserman said.
Hurricane Michael just made landfall along the Florida panhandle and it's packing much more of a punch than most assumed it would when warnings about its arrival began to spread about a week ago.
Those storms left a trail of destruction: the 1935 hurricane was responsible for 408 deaths in the Keys, while Camille was linked to 256 deaths in two states, according to the hurricane center.
- Get out: roughly 375,000 people in Florida warned to evacuate. "We will take care of each other".
The latest minimum central pressure based on data from the reconnaissance aircraft has dropped to 928 millibars, meaning the eye of the storm is strenghtening. Michael flattened everything in its path, with storm surges of up to eight feet.
Although Michael had been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane by 8 p.m. Coupled with that you have over 145 miles per hour winds. The roar from the hurricane sounded like an airplane taking off. Gov. Rick Scott says search and rescue teams are heading into the state's hardest-hit areas to help survivors.
As of 4 a.m. Wednesday, almost 8,000 people were being housed in 54 shelters across the Panhandle and Big Bend, according to the state Division of Emergency Management. Predating modern meteorological technology, the formation point and exact wind strengths of the hurricane are unknown. According to the National Hurricane Center, "most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months".
At 11 a.m., the core of extremely unsafe Hurricane Michael was closing in on the Florida Panhandle in the area of Panama City.
As of the 5 p.m. advisory, Michael is an extremely unsafe Category 3 storm. The sinister-looking red and gray skull appeared briefly on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration infrared satellite images. Some 17,000 utility restoration workers were also on call. He said he plans to visit storm-ravaged areas as soon as he can.
Multiple airports were closed on Wednesday, including Tallahassee International Airport, Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, Pensacola International Airport and Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport. "Those who stick around to experience storm surge don't typically live to tell about it unfortunately".
"Storms like that are referred to in hushed tones", said Phil Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University who specializes in Atlantic Ocean hurricane forecasts. Some of those areas are still working to recover from Hurricane Florence.
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