Columbia should be gravely concerned about Hurricane Michael, mayor says

Columbia should be \gravely concerned\ about Hurricane Michael, mayor says

Images, video showing Michaels destruction emerge: All the houses are submerged

Tropical Storm Michael is accelerating through the Carolinas with a threat of high wind gusts and flooding rain from the southern Appalachians to parts of the East Coast into early Friday.

Michael made landfall as a catastrophic, unprecedented Florida Panhandle Category 4 hurricane early Wednesday afternoon. For a full summary on Michael's destructive storm surge flooding, winds and heavy rain, scroll down to our recap section below.

The home of the 325th Fighter Wing and some 600 military families appeared squarely targeted for the worst of the storm's fury, and leaders declared HURCON 1 status, ordering out all but essential personnel. The base's aircraft, which include F-22 Raptors, were flown hundreds of miles away as a precaution. Forecasters predicted 9 to 14 feet of water at Tyndall. The evacuation order was to continue "until further notice," the base said.

Michael demolishes houses in Floridas Panhandle, and more destruction is emerging

The center of Michael is now pushing through South Carolina with its broad area of rain from the Appalachians to Georgia.

"On the forecast track, the core of Michael will move across southwestern and central Georgia tonight, and move through east-central Georgia Thursday morning," the advisory said. "Michael will then move northeastward across the southeastern United States through late Thursday, and then move off the Mid-Atlantic coast by early Friday."

Video: Gov. Scott: Michaels impact will be horrible

Winds have gusted up to around 50 mph, at times, in Augusta, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. There have been a number of reports of trees downed in eastern Georgia and South Carolina, including in the Columbia metro area.

Michael Treks Through Southeast After Leaving Florida Beach Towns in Ruins, Kills 2; Flooding Swamps North Car

Fooding was also reported on Interstate 26 and the Interstate 126 interchange on the northwest side of Columbia early Thursday morning. In North Carolina, a swift water rescue was needed due to flooding near Old Fort, and significant street flooding was reported in Hendersonville and Boone.

The hurricane, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm, was downgraded to a Category 1 with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and is moving northeast at 20 mph, the agency said. "Damaging winds" continued to blow through parts of Florida and Georgia, while flooding remained a threat.

Winds have diminished in the hardest-hit parts of the Florida Panhandle, southwest Georgia and southeast Alabama.

Tropical storm warnings remain in effect from Altamaha Sound, Georgia to Duck, North Carolina, in the northern Outer Banks, including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. These warnings also extend inland over much of the Carolinas and eastern Georgia. 

Panama City residents feel wrath of Michael: Vance Beu, 29, was staying with his mother at her Panama City apartment when a pine tree slashed through the roof. Beu said the roar of the storm sounded like a jet engine as the winds accelerated. "It was terrifying, honestly. There was a lot of noise. We thought the windows were going to break at any time. We had the inside windows kind of barricaded in with mattresses," Beu said.

Video: AP Top Stories October 10 P

The center of Michael will continue to accelerate to the east-northeast through Thursday night across the Carolinas into southeast Virginia, then move off the East Coast out to sea by Friday as a post-tropical low.

Another storm brings flooding: Just weeks after being slammed by Hurricane Florence, the Carolinas are yet again seeing impacts from a tropical system. On Thursday morning, flooding was reported in parts of western North Carolina after hours of heavy rain overwhelmed rivers and streams. Several roads in Boone, North Carolina, were impacted the floodwaters Thursday morning, the city's police department tweeted.

– Tropical-storm-force (39-plus mph) winds are possible from eastern Georgia through much of the Carolinas through Thursday night or Friday.- These winds are capable of downing trees and triggering additional power outages in these areas. This is a particular concern in areas where soil is still saturated from Florence's torrential rain in northeastern South Carolina and North Carolina.- Metro areas that may experience additional power outages through Thursday night include: Columbia, Charleston, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham.- Strong winds are also forecast over portions southeastern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula as Michael becomes post-tropical off the mid-Atlantic coast late Thursday night into Friday.

– Total rainfall of 4 to 7 inches is expected from eastern Georgia into the southern mid-Atlantic, with isolated totals up to 9 inches in North Carolina and Virginia. This will include some areas devastated by flooding from Hurricane Florence. That said, this system will move quickly rather than stall like Florence did and will, therefore, not bring extreme rainfall amounts. – The rest of the Northeast coast into southeast New England may see 1 to 3 inches of rain.

FORECAST: Michaels rain brings a flash flood threat to Central Va. later today; overnight gusts could lead to outages

– As is typical with tropical cyclones, isolated tornadoes will be a threat.- Thursday and Thursday night, that tornado threat will exist from the eastern Carolinas into southeast Virginia.

– Inundation of 2 to 4 feet above ground level is possible on the sound side of North Carolina's Outer Banks as winds from Michael pile water along those coastal areas.- Water levels are dropping along the Florida Panhandle Gulf Coast.

Video: Hurricane Michael: Florida Task Force 8 prepares to respond

Hurricane Michael intensified right up to its landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, around 12:30 p.m. CDT Wednesday as a high-end Category 4 with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph and a minimum central pressure of 919 millibars.

• At 8 a.m. on Thursday, Michael was about 40 miles west-northwest of Columbia, S.C., heading northeast with sustained wind speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. The storm is moving relatively quickly, at 21 m.p.h., and is expected to speed up as it crosses into the Carolinas on Thursday and blows out to sea by early Friday. Click on the map below to see the storms projected path.

Mexico Beach woman documents Michaels devastation on Instagram

Michael was the third most intense continental U.S. landfall by pressure and fourth strongest by maximum sustained winds on record. Michael was also the most intense Florida Panhandle landfall on record, the first Category 4 hurricane to do so in records dating to the mid-19th century.

Michael's storm surge produced a peak inundation of 7.72 feet above ground level at Apalachicola, Florida, Wednesday afternoon, smashing the previous record of 6.43 feet above ground set during Hurricane Dennis in July 2005. 

Meanwhile, the Waffle House near Florida State Universitys campus in Tallahassee was open for business at 12:28 a.m., with lines stretching out the door. FEMA officials famously use the Waffle House Index as a way of measuring storm damage: Since the diner chain is ubiquitous in the southeast, and rarely shuts down in extreme weather, seeing the Waffle House closed down before a storm is a sign that things are about to get extremely bad. If the Waffle House hasnt reopened after the storm, FEMA considers that a sign that the area has experienced major devastation.

Peak inundation of 5.31 feet above ground at Panama City, Florida, was second only to Hurricane Opal in 1995. Cedar Key, Florida, saw peak inundation of just over 4 feet Wednesday afternoon.

An observing site near Tyndall Air Force Base, east of Panama City, measured a wind gust to 129 mph early Wednesday afternoon, and a gust to 107 mph was reported 1 mile south of Panama City.

A car is seen in a parking lot while flooding begins as Hurricane Michael approaches on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida. – Hurricane Michael closed in on Floridas Gulf Coast on Wednesday as an “extremely dangerous” category four storm packing powerful winds and a huge sea surge, US forecasters said. The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said the storm, which local forecasters are calling an “unprecedented” weather event for the area, is expected to slam ashore later in the day with “life-threatening” storm surges.

At one time, it was estimated over 200 roads in the city of Tallahassee were blocked by fallen trees.

A weather reporting station deployed by Weatherflow and the University of Florida measured a surface pressure from 920-929 millibars, an extraordinarily low pressure to measure on U.S. soil, before it was toppled, according to Shea Gibson, WeatherFlow, Inc. meteorologist.

Man killed in Florida home by fallen tree

Michael also shattered Panama City's all-time low pressure record, which had stood from Hurricane Kate in 1985. 

The Freeport High School #HurricaneMichael shelter is currently housing 69 dogs & 18 cats. Volunteers from @WCASFL are assisting evacuees care for their animals. @weartv @WJHG_TV @WMBBTV @nwfdailynews @WZEPAM1460 pic.twitter.com/dPCIa58O44

– Florida: 129 mph at Tyndall AFB; 89 mph in Apalachicola; 71 mph in Tallahassee- Alabama: 68 mph in Dothan- Georgia: 70 mph near Albany; 51 mph near Savannah- South Carolina: 52 mph near Charleston

Zee, who was in the eye wall of the storm for more than an hour, described an “incredible storm surge.” Conditions were so bad that Zee and her team lost the ability to broadcast.

Rainfall from Michael has, so far, been largely less than 6 inches, primarily due to Michael's more rapid forward movement. Here are some notable rainfall totals by state:

Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images Hurricane Michael made landfall Wednesday afternoon near Mexico Beach, Florida, as a Category 4 storm. The hurricane, traveling with maximum sustained winds at 155 miles per hour, is just 2 mph shy of a Category 5 marking, the most severe on the scale. [USA Today / Susan Miller] This is the first Category 4 hurricane to strike in Florida. Life-threatening storm surges are already causing distress in the state, while heavy rainfall flooding is also expected in North and South Carolina. [Weather Channel] More than 43,000 businesses and residences have lost power in Florida by Wednesday afternoon. Duke Energy estimates 100,000 to 200,000 buildings will experience power outages in both inland and coastal areas. [Reuters] This is the worst storm the Florida Panhandle has seen in more than 100 years, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said. Roughly 375,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate their homes. [Tampa Bay Times / Elizabeth Koh] Despite warnings from officials, some Florida locals in St. George Island and Alligator Point, near the storms path, are remaining in mandatory evacuation areas. Staying put could be life-threatening for residents. [Tallahassee Democrat / Karl Etters] Delta Airlines has canceled about 70 flights to Tallahassee, Panama City, and Destin-Fort Walton Beach. More cancellations are expected at least until Thursday night. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution / Kelly Yamanouchi] vox-mark Vox Sentences The news, but shorter, delivered straight to your inbox.

– Florida: 5.26 inches at Sumatra; 3.17 inches in Tallahassee; 2.61 inches in Panama City- Alabama: 4.92 inches in Dothan; 3.96 inches in Auburn; 1.60 inches in Montgomery- Georgia: 5.95 inches near Dickey; 3.61 inches in Atlanta; 3.37 inches in Macon- South Carolina: 5.27 inches near Jefferson; 2.18 inches in Columbia- North Carolina: 3.78 inches near Boone- Virginia: 2.64 inches in Hillsville; 1.40 inches in Blacksburg

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Michael first developed as Tropical Depression Fourteen on Oct. 7 east of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Michael rapidly intensified from a tropical depression to Category 1 hurricane in just 24 hours ending 11 a.m. EDT Oct. 8.

Hurricane Michael strikes the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm; a Chinese intelligence operative is brought to the US to face espionage charges.

Michael continued to intensify right up to landfall, exhibiting eyewall lightning as it pushed to high-end Category 4 status slamming ashore in the Florida Panhandle.

Michael arrived in southwestern Georgia early Wednesday evening as a Category 3 major hurricane, the first hurricane of that strength to track into Georgia since the Georgia Hurricane of 1898, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, tropical scientist at Colorado State University.

Michael knows down trees, power lines in the Florida panhandle

Are you affected by Hurricane Michael? Text, iMessage or WhatsApp your videos, photos and stories to CNN when its safe: 347-322-0415

(CNN)What used to be a gorgeous beachfront city now looks like an apocalyptic mess after Hurricane Michael shredded Mexico Beach, Florida.

Michael devastates Florida PanhandleLive updatesTheir stores grand opening was this week. Michael left it in ruinsFamily awaits word on loved ones whove gone quiet Floridas Mexico Beach is in tattersThe damage in picturesThe strongest hurricane to hit continental US since 1992 How you can help

CNNs Jason Hanna, Christina Maxouris, Emanuella Grinberg, AnneClaire Stapleton, Michael Guy and Amanda Watts contributed to this report.


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