Hurricane Michael Weakens to Category 1 Storm

Pat Wise
October 12, 2018

Hurricane Michael, the fiercest storm to hit Florida in more than 80 years and the third-most powerful ever to strike the US mainland, battered the state's Gulf coast on Wednesday with roof-shredding winds, raging surf and torrential rains.

It was a relatively calm year except for hurricanes Michael and Florence last month.

That is still a steep drop from a wind gust of 119 miles per hour that was reported at Tyndall Air Force Base east of Panama City, Florida, according to the NHC.

Michael is the third-most powerful hurricane to make landfall in the continental US.

The National Hurricane Center reported at 1 p.m. that the eyewall of Category 4 Hurricane Michael was coming ashore in an area between St. Vincent Island and Panama City along the Florida Panhandle. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm.

The latest update from the NHC cites still Category 3 sustained winds and at this time hurricane Michael is moving towards Georgia, which is unusual but due to the late intensification and fast movement of the storm not entirely unexpected.

"Where homes were, they are not", Ginger Zee, ABC's chief meteorologist, said in a video posted on Twitter. Based on wind speed, it was the fourth-strongest, behind the Labour Day storm, Camille and Andrew in 1992. This would result in minor tree damage and some scattered outages.

"Michael is likely to produce potentially catastrophic wind damage where the core of the hurricane moves onshore in the Florida Panhandle, and everyone in the hurricane warning area should prepare for life-threatening hurricane winds".

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Michael's minimum central pressure remained at 923 millibars in the most recent National Hurricane advisory as it moved north-northeast at 14 miles per hour.

Hurricane Michael weakened to a Category 1 storm late Wednesday as it moved across south-central Georgia with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour. "I didn't expect all this", he said.

While there may be no civil implications for staying, Gov. Rick Scott reiterated the dangers of remaining in a hurricane evacuation zone. Search and rescue crews were expected to escalate efforts to reach hardest-hit areas and check for anyone trapped or injured in the storm debris.

Megan Williams, left, and roommate Kaylee O'Brian take belongings from their destroyed home after several trees fell on the house during Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla., Oct. 10, 2018. He acknowledged that a lot of the residents in the area were poor and said it was probably tough to leave. The hurricane is expected to make landfall today. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm.

President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for all of Florida, freeing up federal assistance to supplement state and local disaster responses.

Residents of Georgia and Alabama have been hit with power blackouts after the hurricane crossed into the southeastern part of the states.

As the hurricane moves out of Florida, Scott warned that flash floods and tornadoes are still possibilities and said "the weather is still extremely risky".

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