Hurricane Michael intensifying, forecast to become Category 4 by landfall

  • Hurricane Michael intensifying, forecast to become Category 4 by landfall

Hurricane Michael intensifying, forecast to become Category 4 by landfall

-Hurricane history: first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in Florida's Panhandle since record-keeping began in 1851. That's just 2 miles per hour away from officially being a Category 5 hurricane.

The storm's intensity waned steadily as it pushed inland and curled northeasterly into Georgia.

The combination of winds and storm surge will absolutely devastate portions of the Florida coastline. Some of those areas are still working to recover from Hurricane Florence.

The National Weather Service says tornadoes are possible across the Florida Panhandle, southeast Georgia and southern SC through Thursday morning as the hurricane now moves inland. Up to a foot (30 cm) of rainfall was forecast for some areas.

The Gadsden County Sheriff's office said that a man was found dead in his home in a small town outside of Tallahassee after a tree crashed through the roof. Smith, the sheriff of Franklin County, a coastal patch south of Tallahassee, told CNN that the county was almost isolated after most of the main roads were rendered impassable from flooding and downed trees.

At the White House, President Donald Trump said the government is "absolutely ready for the storm".

Dorian Carter looks under furniture for a missing cat after several trees fell on their home during Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.

"My God, it's scary". Soon enough, Mexico Beach's emerald waters and white sugar-sand beaches were covered in a dark sea of splintered debris, she said.

Neighborhood streets flooded as waves battered the shoreline. The fate of about 280 residents who authorities said defied evacuation orders was unknown.

As of around 8pm, Michael was about 20 miles southwest of Albany, Georgia, with winds of 100 mph, becoming a category 1 storm. Wind damage was also evident.

"Lake City dodged a huge one here", Reynolds said.

Utility crews from Gulf Power, Duke Energy Florida, Florida Power & Light and public utilities have lined up more than 19,000 workers from their own crews and through mutual-aid agreements with companies across the South and Midwest. Emergency managers say they don't know how many left the area, but there were about 6000 people in 80 shelters in five states, including almost 1200 who are still in shelters following Hurricane Florence.

"And this one is going to end up potentially causing more loss of life and damage than a storm like Irma".

"It feels like you don't know when the next tree is going to fall on top of you because it's blowing so ferociously", said Port St Joe Mayor Bo Patterson.

The storm continued on its destructive path, bringing heavy rains and tearing down trees.

Despite warnings and forecasts of destructive conditions, many residents chose to stay.

"This happened so quickly, we weren't exactly prepared", he said.

The National Hurricane Center reported at 1 p.m. that the eyewall of Category 4 Hurricane Michael was coming ashore in an area between St. Vincent Island and Panama City along the Florida Panhandle.

Rick Reichmuth, Fox News' chief meteorologist, said Michael was the fourth most powerful storm to ever make landfall in the terms of wind, and the third most powerful in terms of pressure, at 919 mb.

Only the so-called Labor Day hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys (892 millibars) and Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969 (900 millibars) were more intense.

600: The number of Florida state troopers assigned to response and recovery efforts throughout the storm.

The Pentagon said it had pre-positioned more than 2,200 active-duty military personnel, along with helicopters, high-water vehicles and swift-water boats for deployment as needed.

"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.