Hurricane Michael Ravaged Mexico Beach

Michael Upgraded To Category 4 'Major' Hurricane As It Approaches Florida Panhandle

Michael Upgraded To Category 4 'Major' Hurricane As It Approaches Florida Panhandle

Hurricane Michael has left a wake of destruction after it made landfall in Florida on Wednesday.

At landfall, it was almost a Category 5 storm that smashed records as the strongest ever to roar onto the state's exposed Panhandle. But fears lingered that some failed to heed the calls to get out of Michael's way as the hard-charging storm began speeding north over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

According to reports on October 11, at least two people died during the storm. The storm is now moving at 21 miles per hour.

In Apalachicola about 35 miles to the southeast and just inside the perimeter for hurricane winds, a tidal gauge recorded water at 8.55 feet before 7 p.m. Wednesday.

"Today is the day".

Patricia Mulligan said she survived Hurricane Andrew in 1992, only to encounter the wrath of another storm Wednesday.

Based on its internal barometric pressure, Michael was the third most powerful hurricane to hit the US mainland, behind the unnamed Labor Day storm of 1935 and Camille in 1969. The base had been evacuated before the storm and no injuries were reported.

- Food and water: 2 million ready-to-eat meals, 1 million gallons (3.75 million liters) of water and 40,000 10-pound (4.5-kilogram) bags of ice ready for distribution in Florida. "With no shear, Michael would have intensified substantially faster", he said. It's expected to keep blowing across central and eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia before crossing into the Atlantic Ocean by late Thursday or early Friday.

Outside, she said in a phone interview, she could see remnants of people's lives strewn about: refrigerators, a beanbag chair, a washing machine, a kayak and a dresser.

Michael could dump up to a foot (30 centimeters) of rain over some Panhandle communities before its remnants go back out to sea by way of the mid-Atlantic states over the next few days. "This is one of the most powerful storms".

President Donald Trump pledged to help storm victims. "We are are a very resilient state".

A pine tree punched a hole in their roof, and Beu's ears popped because of the drop in barometric pressure from the storm.

"It's our first storm (forecast) to be on top of us", Mollie Williams, a 17-year resident, said warily.

Storm-surge warnings were in place between Panama City Beach and Keaton Beach in Florida, and between Ocracoke Inlet and Duck in North Carolina. Boats once docked in the canal have been pushed far up onto the land, and much of what would normally be on land floats in the canal.

"You don't want to have to stay there", she said.

Asked if there would be more evacuation orders, he said officials were monitoring the situation but that people in potentially affected areas should not take any chances against such a large storm surge.

Many residents hunkered down in designated shelters like this one in Tallahassee, riding out the storm in a sturdier building.

Speaking to The Tribune from Florida yesterday, he described conditions leading up to and during the storm's landfall. "I don't think anyone would have experienced this in the Panhandle", meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com told The Associated Press. "You couldn't see anything anywhere".

Travis Brooks, Director of Seminole County's emergency management agency, told ABC News there was "complete and total devastation". Long said Michael was one of the most intense hurricanes to hit the area since 1851. Levy County has closed its schools through Thursday; Florida State University, in Tallahassee, has closed as well.

"When the water came in houses started floating", said the man identified as Scott. But Michael is still boasting winds of 50 miles per hour (80 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).