Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Monstrous Hurricane Michael tears into Florida

'One Scary-Looking Storm': Watch Michael Arrive in Video from Space Station Hurricane Michael makes landfall in Florida
Elijah Vega | 11 October, 2018, 10:48

As the destructive forces of Hurricane Michael were set to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle Wednesday, the astronauts aboard the International Space Station were able to capture breathtaking video of the storm. In the D.C. area, its effects are a couple days off and should be limited.

The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch on Wednesday afternoon, lasting from Thursday afternoon to late Thursday night for Calvert, St. Mary's and Charles counties in Maryland and Stafford County in Virginia.

More than 40 percent of daily crude oil production and more than one-third of natural gas output was lost from offshore US Gulf of Mexico wells on Wednesday because of platform evacuations and shut-ins caused by Michael.

The most powerful hurricane on record to hit Florida's Panhandle left wide destruction and at least one person dead and wasn't almost finished Thursday as it crossed Georgia toward the Carolinas, still reeling from epic flooding in Hurricane Florence. That makes Michael the third-strongest hurricane to ever hit the United States and the strongest in almost 50 years.

Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long said Michael was the most intense hurricane seen in the Florida Panhandle since 1851.

The hurricane center's Graham said Michael represented a "textbook case" of a hurricane system growing stronger as it drew near shore, in contrast to Hurricane Florence, which struck North Carolina last month after weakening in a slow, halting approach.

Meteorologists watched satellite imagery in complete awe as the storm intensified.

"It is extremely emotional", she said, fighting tears. Beachfront structures could be seen collapsing and metal roofing materials were blown away amid the heavy rain.

Position: The hurricane was about 120 miles southwest of Panama City, Florida, as of 6 a.m. ET this morning, per CNN.

"We are in new territory", U.S. National Hurricane Center Meteorologist Dennis Feltgen wrote on Facebook.

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Panama City is also a mess of downed trees, and damaged buildings - as is likely the case throughout much of the surrounding areas in the Florida Panhandle.

Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane expert at Colorado State University, said: "I really fear for what things are going to look like there tomorrow at this time". "We thought the windows were going to break at any time", Beu said.

Thousands of evacuees sought shelter in Tallahassee, which is about 25 miles from the coast but is covered by live oak and pine trees that can fall and cause power outages even in smaller storms.

Hours earlier, it made landfall in Florida as the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. in almost 50 years and the third-strongest ever.

However, this still means damaging winds are continuing across the central and eastern panhandle of Floria and southwestern and south-central Georgia.

Michael's strength may reflect the effect of climate change on storms.

Allender said they were sitting in the dark because their building had lost power.

Hargan's 11-year-old son, Jayden, carried one of the family's dogs in a laundry basket in one arm and held a skateboard in the other as he waded through calf-high water.

"I'm freaking scared I'm going to lose everything I own, man."

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