Reduced to a Tropical Storm, Michael Churns Towards Atlantic

Audrey Hill
October 12, 2018

Michael made landfall Wednesday in the Florida Panhandle with maximum sustained winds of 249 kilometers per hour, putting it just below Category 5 status that tops the scale used to describe the strength and destructive potential of hurricanes.

More than 900,000 homes and businesses are still without power in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Hurricane Michael is expected to churn across Columbus Wednesday evening, bringing rain and vicious winds that could topple trees and power lines and leave roads impassable until crews can clear them.

North and SC are both still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which left dozens dead and caused billions of dollars in damage last month. She appeared to pull the "cover the hurricane in the field" stick, and today reported from a helicopter flying high over the ravaged area of Mexico City, Florida. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal followed the example set by his Florida counterpart Rick Scott in declaring a state of emergency for 93 middle and south counties in his state.

The NWS said it had found no record of any previous Category 4 hurricanes that made landfall in the Panhandle or the "Big Bend" coastal region.

State officials issued disaster declarations in Alabama and Georgia and the storm is also expected to bring heavy rainfall to North and SC.

As of Thursday morning, more than 500,000 customers still don't have their electricity restored across Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

"Next phase of recovery work - going into neighborhoods - providing for the needs of those impacted by the storm, providing resources for people".

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Ken Graham, director of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, said Michael is "unfortunately, a historical and incredibly risky and life-threatening situation".

The storm had picked up steam as it sped across the Gulf of Mexico toward the Florida Panhandle.

See the latest from the Capital Weather Gang here and track the storm's path here. That makes Michael the third-strongest hurricane to ever hit the United States and the strongest in almost 50 years.

A pine tree punched a hole in their roof, and Beu's ears popped because of the drop in barometric pressure from the storm. Michael's measurement indicates it's more intense than Hurricane Andrew, which hit Florida in 1992 with a pressure of 922 millibars, and Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005 when it hit with a pressure of 920 millibars.

Medical Sacred Heart hospital, which had its windows blown in by the storm said it was running off of generators and patients have been moved to safe areas of the facility.

Early Thursday, the eye of Michael was about 25 miles east of Macon in central Georgia.

Around midnight (0400 GMT Thursday) it was downgraded to a tropical storm as it barrelled across central Georgia, still dumping torrential rain and packing 60 miles per hour winds.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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