Catastrophic Michaels path: What does tropical storm warning mean for Macon?

\Catastrophic\ Michael\s path: What does tropical storm warning mean for Macon?

After Michaels rampage on Florida Panhandle: Theres Nothing left

Tropical Storm Michael is accelerating through Virginia with gusty winds and flooding rain. Extreme rainfall totals may occur in either of those states through early Friday as Michael swings out into the Atlantic. 

Michael made landfall as a catastrophic, unprecedented Florida Panhandle Category 4 hurricane early during the afternoon of Oct. 10. 

Some of the most severe damage from storm surge occurred in Mexico Beach, where countless homes were swept off their foundations. The storm surge was estimated to be 9 to 14 feet high in Mexico Beach, according to the National Hurricane Center Storm Surge Unit.

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.

Hurricane Michael's storm surge and intense winds have caused extreme destruction in the Florida Panhandle.

Before and After Images Show Hurricane Michaels Major Destruction in the Florida Panhandle

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.

The National Hurricane Center's Storm Surge Unit, estimated peak storm surge inundation of 9 to 14 feet above ground likely occurred from Mexico Beach through Apalachee Bay, a location notorious for storm surge even from less intense tropical cyclones. 

The center of Michael will bring gale- to storm-force winds over portions of southeastern Virginia, extreme northeastern North Carolina, and the Delmarva Peninsula late on Thursday night and on Friday morning when it becomes post-tropical off the Mid-Atlantic coast, the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

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. 

Michael, the third most powerful hurricane ever to hit the U.S. mainland, smashed into Floridas northwest coast near the small town of Mexico Beach on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane with 155-mile-per-hour (250-kilometer-per-hour) winds. It left at least 7 dead and tore apart coastal towns.

How to contact loved ones in the Panhandle after Michael

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.

WHATS HAPPENING: Carolinas next in line for Michaels fury | WSOC-TV

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.

Coastal towns in Florida Panhandle devastated like a war zone after Michael

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

The state mental hospital in Chattahoochee, which has a section for the criminally insane, was cut off by land, and food and supplies were being flown in, authorities said. Landlines and cellphones also were down to the complex, which has nearly 1,000 residents and more than 300 staff. They relied on emergency radios to make contact with first responders.

Video: Storm Michael: 155mph winds leave trail of devastation – BBC News

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.

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

– Florida: 129 mph at Tyndall AFB; 89 mph in Apalachicola; 71 mph in Tallahassee- Alabama: 68 mph in Dothan- Georgia: 115 mph in Donalsonville; 70 mph in Albany- South Carolina: 55 mph in Myrtle Beach; 52 mph near Charleston

A man outside Tallahassee, Florida, was killed by a falling tree, and an 11-year-old girl in Georgia died when the winds picked up a carport and dropped it on her home. One of the carports legs punctured the roof and hit her in the head. A driver in North Carolina was killed when a tree fell on his car.

Video: AP Top Stories October 12 A

Winds gusted to 50-55 mph, at times, in Augusta, Georgia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Thursday morning. There have been a number of reports of trees and power lines downed in eastern Georgia and South Carolina, including in the Columbia metro area.

Video: Hurricane Michael leaves destruction, thousands without power in its wake

Michael kills six and wipes out Florida beach town

Rainfall from Michael has now topped 6 inches in a few locations, but has been held down somewhat, primarily due to Michael's more rapid forward movement compared to Florence. Here are some notable rainfall totals by state:

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — The devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael came into focus Thursday with rows upon rows of homes found smashed to pieces, and rescue crews struggling to make their way into the stricken areas in hopes of accounting for hundreds of people who may have stayed behind.

– Florida: 5.26 inches at Sumatra; 3.17 inches in Tallahassee; 2.61 inches in Panama City- Alabama: 5.54 inches in Ozark; 4.92 inches in Dothan; 1.60 inches in Montgomery- Georgia: 6.48 inches near Powder Springs; 3.37 inches in Macon- South Carolina: 6.01 inches near Hartsville; 4.47 inches in Columbia- North Carolina: 9.62 inches near Black Mountain; 6.75 inches near Boone; 2.95 inches in Asheville- Virginia: 5.75 inches near White Gate; 1.40 inches in Blacksburg

Flooding was also reported on Interstate 26 and the Interstate 126 interchange on the northwest side of Columbia early Thursday morning. Ten homes were flooded in Irmo, South Carolina, requiring some evacuations.

WHATS HAPPENING: Devastation in Florida, flooding elsewhere

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.

Storm Michael floods cause chaos in North Carolina

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

Entire blocks of homes near the beach were obliterated, reduced to concrete slabs in the sand. Rows and rows of other homes were turned into piles of splintered lumber or were crumpled and slumped at odd angles. Entire roofs were torn away and dropped onto a road.

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

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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.

Goc. Rick Scott sees Hurricane Michaels wrath from above

Linda Marquardt rode out Hurricane Michael with her husband at their home in Mexico Beach. When their house filled with surging ocean water, they fled upstairs. Now their home is full of mud and everywhere they look theres utter devastation in their Florida Panhandle community: fishing boats tossed like toys, roofs lifted off of buildings and pine trees snapped like matchsticks in 155 mph winds.

Row after row of beachfront homes were so obliterated by Michaels surging seas and howling winds that only slabs of concrete in the sand remain, a testament that this was ground zero when the epic Category 4 hurricane slammed ashore at midweek. The destruction in this and other communities dotting the white-sand beaches is being called catastrophic — and it will need billions of dollars to rebuild.

“All of my furniture was floating,” said Marquardt, 67. “A river just started coming down the road. It was awful, and now theres just nothing left.”

At least three deaths were blamed on Michael, the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in over 50 years, and by early Friday it wasnt over yet: a tropical storm long after Wednesdays landfall, Michael stubbornly kept up its punch while barreling up the Southeast, dumping heavy rains and spreading flash flooding misery as far away as Virginia.

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High winds, downed trees, streets inundated by rising waters and multiple rescues of motorists from waterlogged cars played out in spots around Virginia and neighboring North Carolina. And while forecasters said Michael was gradually losing its tropical traits, it was a new chapter would begin as an extratropical storm predicted to intensify with gale force winds once it starts cross out into the Atlantic.

In North Carolinas mountains, motorists had to be rescued Thursday from cars trapped by high water. High winds toppled trees and power lines, leaving hundreds of thousands without power. Flash flooding also was reported in the big North Carolina cities of Charlotte and Raleigh. Similar scenes played out in parts of Virginia as the storm raced seaward.

All told, more than 900,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas were without power.

Meanwhile, thousands of National Guard troops, law enforcement officers and rescue teams still had much to do in the hardest hit area: Floridas Panhandle. Families living along the Panhandle are now faced with a struggle to survive in a perilous landscape of shattered homes and shopping centers, the storm debris spread far and wide.

In one community, Panama City, most homes were still standing, but no property was left undamaged. Downed power lines and twisted street signs lay all around. Aluminum siding was shredded and homes were split by fallen trees. Hundreds of cars had broken windows. The hurricane damaged hospitals and nursing homes in Panama City, and officials worked to evacuate hundreds of patients.

Winds from Tropical Storm Michael cause heavy damage across North Carolina

“So many lives have been changed forever. So many families have lost everything,” said Florida Gov. Rick Scott, calling it “unimaginable destruction.”

Recovery Work Begins After Hurricane Michael Carves Through Florida Panhandle

An insurance company that produces models for catastrophes estimated Michael caused about $8 billion in damage. Boston-based Karen Clark & Company released that estimate Thursday, which includes privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial and industrial properties and vehicles. It doesnt include losses covered by the National Flood Insurance Program.

A man outside Tallahassee, Florida, was killed by a falling tree, and an 11-year-old girl in Georgia died when Michaels winds picked up a carport and dropped it on her home, debris striking her in the head. A driver in North Carolina also was killed when a tree fell on his car.

Some fear the toll can only rise as rescue teams get around storm debris blocking roads and reach isolated areas.

More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were ordered or urged to clear out as Michael closed in. But emergency authorities lamented that many ignored the warnings.

The Coast Guard said it rescued at least 27 people before and after the hurricanes landfall, mostly from coastal homes. Nine people had to be rescued by helicopter from a bathroom of a home in hard-hit Panama City after their roof collapsed, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Hodges said.

In hard-hit Mexico Beach alone, state officials say, 285 people in Mexico Beach defied a mandatory evacuation order ahead of Michael. The task ahead: finding and hopefully safely accounting for all those who stayed behind.

Monstrous storm clobbers its way into Florida Panhandle, crosses several Southeastern states

National Guard troops made their way into the ground-zero town and found 20 survivors initially Wednesday night, and more rescue crews are arriving. But the fate of many residents was unknown.

Mishelle McPherson and her ex-husband searched for the elderly mother of a friend. The woman lived in a small cinderblock house about 150 yards (meters) from the Gulf and thought she would be OK. The home was found smashed, with no sign of the woman.

Michael officially stronger than Katrina at landfall

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