Florida Eyes Turn to Cleanup After Powerful Hurricane Michael

Pat Wise
October 12, 2018

Only a couple of hours after Michael came ashore, floodwaters were more than 7-1/2 feet (2.3 meters) deep near Apalachicola on Florida's Panhandle, National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.

Hurricane Michael swooped ashore Wednesday afternoon at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, near Mexico Beach, with winds of 155 miles per hour and a pressure gradient of 919 millibars, making it one of the worst storms ever to hit the U.S.

"We ask evacuees to be patient as we begin recovery", the county tweeted Thursday.

Storm surge warnings were in place along the Florida and Alabama coasts.

Broadcast journalists, storm chasers and residents hunkering down captured dramatic video as Michael blew ashore near Mexico Beach, a tourist town about midway along the Panhandle.

For the big tourist destinations of Panama City Beach, Destin and Fort Walton, it could be months before they are back on an even keel as the hurricane destroyed homes, businesses and resorts, uprooted thousands of trees, and tore down power lines across the region.

He flew into Tallahassee yesterday as part of a team of 500 disaster workers on the ground across the state of Florida, working to provide shelters for people who have evacuated from evacuation zones.

Michael killed at least six people in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina from falling trees and other hurricane-related incidents, officials and local media said.

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The storm center was located about 90 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico , or 225 miles southwest of the western tip of Cuba . Florida State University said its campuses in Tallahassee and Panama City will be closed from Tuesday through Friday.

There was extensive destruction around Panama City. The winds lifted up the rectangular porch roof, then slammed it down to the floor. "I've' never seen anything like it". "It sounded like 40 jet engines going off". Roads were virtually impassable and trees, satellite dishes and traffic lights lay in the streets.

After being battered for almost three hours by strong winds and heavy rains, roads in PanamaCity were virtually impassable and trees, satellite dishes and traffic lights lay in the streets.

The University of SC will be closing campus as Hurricane Michael approaches the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane.

See the latest from the Capital Weather Gang here and track the storm's path here.

The St. Marks River overflows into the city of St. Marks, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.

Buck Allen's hometown of Miccosukee is situated in the panhandle of Florida, which was also expected to bear the brunt of Hurricane Michael as it made landfall Wednesday afternoon.

After making landfall near Mexico Beach around 2 p.m. ET, the eye of Michael moved inland over the Florida Panhandle east of Panama City.

Long, the head of FEMA, said many Florida buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. It's expected to weaken to a tropical storm by Thursday morning and move off into the Atlantic Ocean by early Friday.

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