Hurricane Michael Has Arrived

Hurricane Michael Has Arrived

Hurricane Michael finally weakened to a tropical storm on Thursday, no longer a Category 4 monster packing 155 miles per hour winds. The storm has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Roads were filled with piles of floating debris.

One of the hardest-hit spots was Mexico Beach, where Michael crashed ashore as a Category 4 monster with 155mph winds.

The storm has killed a man in Florida and a girl in Georgia.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chief Brock Long said Michael was the most intense hurricane to strike the Florida Panhandle since record keeping began in 1851.

Rapid intensification means that a storm has found itself in an ideal environment - one usually characterized by warm waters and little adverse wind shear.

"Water will come miles in shore and could easily rise over the roofs of houses", he said. Soon enough, Mexico Beach's emerald waters and sugar-sand beaches were covered in a dark sea of debris, she said.

Tens of thousands of people were told to evacuate the coastal areas in nine counties as the storm approached with winds of 155kmh.

The National Hurricane Center says the core of Michael will move across eastern Georgia into Central South Carolina on Thursday morning.

They said it's still not clear how many people stayed put and would need to be rescued.

By comparison, about 75,000 customers lost power during Hurricane Hermine, which struck Tallahassee in 2016, said Gillum, the Democratic candidate for governor.

Smith could not provide details on the victim. "Michael will be of a landfall intensity not seen for at least 100 years, and perhaps more".

On the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, category 4 includes winds of up to 156mph with possible severe damage to even well-built homes and trees being felled. "I don't know exactly what they're going to be, but they'll be things we don't like".

"Where that becomes a factor is with the evacuation of some of the local populations", he said. "We'll see winds start to diminish after midnight tonight as the storm moves away".

Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 4 storm near Mexico Beach, Fla.

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. Category 5 storms occur when winds reach 157 miles per hour or higher.

More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were ordered or urged to evacuate as Michael closed in.

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee said a hurricane "of this strength has NEVER made landfall in this region and thus this is an event that will have unprecedented impacts".

"Hurricane Michael is an unprecedented event and can not be compared to any of our previous events".

Sally Crown rode out Michael on the Florida Panhandle thinking at first that the worst damage was the many trees downed in her yard.

USA president Donald Trump approved a federal pre-landfall emergency declaration authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to "coordinate all disaster relief efforts" and to "identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency".

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

Heavy rains are forecast for the Carolinas, which were drenched by Hurricane Florence last month. The U.S. Coast Guard ran 10 rescue missions into the region Wednesday night.

Previous year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Harvey, which caused a record-equaling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.

The storm has sustained winds of 130mph (210km/h) and is due to make landfall at about midday (16:00 GMT).