Michael 3rd most intense USA landfalling hurricane on record

Michael 3rd most intense USA landfalling hurricane on record

A structure in Panama City Beach was no match for Michael's winds, as the home under construction collapsed an hour prior to the Category 4 storm's eyewall coming ashore.

The most powerful hurricane on record to hit Florida's Panhandle left wide destruction and at least two people dead and wasn't almost finished Thursday as it crossed Georgia, now as a tropical storm, toward the Carolinas, that are still reeling from epic flooding by Hurricane Florence.

It gathered still more strength just before making landfall northwest of the town of Mexico Beach on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 14 feet are expected in some areas, the National Weather Service warned Wednesday.

As winds subsided in Panama City, resident Reid Garrett said his concerns shifted to flooding outside his apartment complex, which surrounded by downed trees.

"Going back through records to 1851 we can't find another Cat 4 in this area, so this is unfortunately a historical and incredibly unsafe and life-threatening situation", he said. The storm is expected to drop as much as 12 inches of rain in some areas of the state before continuing its path north into Georgia and moving northward into southeastern New England Thursday night and Friday. Based on wind speed, it was the fourth-strongest, behind the Labor Day storm (184 miles per hour, or 296 kph), Camille and Andrew in 1992. Reaching the worst-hit areas wasn't easy: Authorities closed Interstate 10, the main east-west route along Florida's Panhandle, for 128 kilometres to clear debris, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Diane Farris, 57, and her son walked to a high school-turned-shelter near their home in Panama City to find about 1,100 people crammed into a space meant for about half as many.

Michael's minimum central pressure remained at 923 millibars in the most recent National Hurricane advisory as it moved north-northeast at 14 miles per hour.

"I just need to know he's OK. We thought the windows were going to break at any time", Beu said.

Timberwolves trade of Jimmy Butler to Heat falls apart
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The storm is likely to fire up the debate over global warming.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican running for the US Senate in November's congressional elections, declared a state of emergency in 35 Florida counties.

Some communities in Georgia had 5 inches of rain and more than 350,000 people were without power, the Weather Channel reported Thursday morning. Palm trees whipped wildly in the winds. You are not going to survive it.

"It is extremely emotional", she said, fighting tears.

Only a skeleton staff remained at Tyndall Air Force Base, situated on a peninsula just south of Panama City.

Only a skeleton staff remains at the home of the 325th Fighter Wing after the base's aircraft, which include F-11 Raptors, were flown hundreds of kilometres away as a precaution. Four pine trees had crashed through the roof of her apartment, almost hitting two people.

Hargan, a bartender at a riverfront restaurant, feared he would lose his home and his job to the storm.

She could not say what time the death occurred or give any details about the victim.

"I'm freaking scared I'm going to lose everything I own, man."

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