Hurricane Michael grows stronger on way to Florida

Olive Hawkins
October 11, 2018

Hurricane Michael has been upgraded to an "extremely dangerous" category 4 storm, hours before it is due to make landfall in Florida.

In Mexico Beach, population 1,000, the storm shattered homes, leaving floating piles of lumber.

"Once you are sheltered, STAY PUT", Florida Gov.

"It's going to take some time to survey and clear all the roads", Scott said.

Millions of people are in the path of Hurricane Michael as the unprecedented storm hit the Gulf Coast today with life-threatening winds, heavy rainfall and deadly storm surge. "We know many people have been injured". He said 110,000 residences and businesses were without power Thursday, morning, representing about 90 percent of the customers served by the city's electric service.

More than 19,000 utility workers from companies in Florida and across the country have started assessing the damages.

Storm surges of between nine and thirteen feet are now projected for the gulf coast between Mexico Beach, Florida (just south of Panama City on the Panhandle) and Keaton Beach on Florida's Big Bend.

Among those brought to safety were nine people rescued by helicopter from a bathroom of their Panama City home after their roof collapsed, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Hodges said.

By comparison, about 75,000 customers lost power during Hurricane Hermine, which struck Tallahassee in 2016, said Gillum, the Democratic candidate for governor. The facility's evacuees include 39 critical care patients. An 80-mile stretch of Interstate 10, the main east-west route along the Panhandle, was closed because of debris. One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit her in the head. As flooding gets worse and worse, more dots will turn blue.

More than 400,000 utility customers remained without power Thursday morning as thousands of rescue and utility crew members spread out across coastal and rural Panhandle communities to respond to the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael.

A fast and furious Hurricane Michael is speeding toward the Florida Panhandle with 120 miles per hour winds and a potential storm surge of 13 feet, giving tens of thousands of people precious little time to get out or board up.

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People in the crosshairs had to make last-minute preparations for the monstrous storm's arrival - and for how to cope in its aftermath.

And at that point, forecasters expect Michael to strengthen again over open water.

The official said that after Hurricane Irma in September 2017, a field hospital was required in the Florida Keys for a year, and similar situations may be required with Michael.

Mulligan and her family rode out Hurricane Michael in their Mexico Beach condo.

The Tampa Bay Times is collecting water height data from across the state in real-time. Here is a video of parts of the house, washed to other objects. Authorities said 285 people in Mexico Beach had refused to leave ahead of the hurricane despite a mandatory evacuation order. Another man was shining a flashlight from his balcony as alarms sounded and fires burned.

The email didn't say how long the work was expected to take.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for.

In Panama City, 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Mexico Beach, buildings were crushed and boats were scattered around. It will then move across portions of central and eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia into the Atlantic Ocean by late Thursday or early Friday.

- Power outages: More than 932,000 customers in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and SC without power. "Everyone in these areas is reminded not to venture out into the relative calm of the eye, as hazardous winds will increase very quickly as the eye passes!" the NHC said in a warning at 2 p.m.

While there is growing scientific agreement on numerous theories about the effects of climate change on storms, there are also areas where consensus has yet to develop.

The wanderings of hurricanes vary widely, steered by wind currents and high- and low-pressure systems; some storms race across oceans and land while others dawdle.

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