Hurricane Michael strikes Florida, moves to Carolinas as tropical storm
12 October, 2018, 21:58 | Author: Kelly Sanders
It was not yet known what had happened to about 280 residents of Mexico Beach who authorities said had ignored evacuation orders as the storm approached the state's northwest. "I'm literally shocked at the scale of the destruction", storm chaser Josh Morgerman tweeted Wednesday night. The truck driver had to be extricated and also suffered serious injuries. People look on at a damaged store after Hurricane Michael passed through on October 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida.
Virginia authorities have confirmed five storm-related deaths in the state. A firefighter also was killed when hit by a truck as he was trying to help an accident victim, the Washington Post reported.
"It looks like a tornado came through here", he said. 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.
Laidlaw called the damage "catastrophic".
After making landfall Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 storm, HurricaneMichael ripped through the Florida panhandle, leaving a scarred path of broken buildings, uprooted trees, and splintered homes in its wake.
As of 11 pm Thursday, Michael's core was located about 15 miles north-northeast of Norfolk, Virginia, and was moving northeast at 25 mph, according to the National Hurricane Centre (NHC). It was moving to the northeast at 23 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour.
By Thursday morning, the system had been downgraded to a tropical storm but remained risky, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is rumbling into SC, while also bringing strong winds and heavy rains to North Carolina and Virginia amid a tornado threat, many news outlets reported. Flash flooding may continue meanwhile in the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic states. It was the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S.in almost 50 years and at least one death was reported during its passage.
Meteorologist Philip Klotzbach said Hurricane Michael is the third strongest hurricane to make landfall on the continental US in recorded history.
"There are so many downed power lines and trees that it's nearly impossible to get through the city", Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson said.
One man died when a tree fell into his home on the Florida Panhandle, and an 11-year-old girl was killed after a tree fell onto her home in Georgia. A driver in North Carolina was killed when a tree fell on his vehicle.
Michael weakened to a tropical storm Thursday after wreaking havoc along Florida's Gulf Coast, flooding homes and streets, ripping away roofs and snapping trees and power lines as it roared ashore as a raging Category 4 hurricane.
Georgia's Department of Agriculture is coordinating efforts to assist recovery in Southwest and Central Georgia areas most affected by the hurricane.
At least three deaths have been blamed on Michael, the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S.in over 50 years.
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