Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

One dead after Hurricane Michael slams into Florida Panhandle

One dead after Hurricane Michael slams into Florida Panhandle

A pier damaged by Hurricane Michael is pictured in Panama City Beach, Florida, US.

That is rarefied air: only three storms have hit the U.S.at Category 5: an unnamed storm that devastated the Florida Keys in 1935; Camille, which hit MS in 1969; and Andrew, which plowed across South Florida in 1992.

Hurricane Michael, the most powerful on record to hit the Florida Panhandle since 1851, is tracking north toward Georgia and the Carolinas and bringing risky storm surges and flooding.

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.

Those storms left a trail of destruction: the 1935 hurricane was responsible for 408 deaths in the Keys, while Camille was linked to 256 deaths in two states, according to the hurricane center.

An unidentified man in the Florida Panhandle was killed by a fallen tree when it ripped through his home's roof, a spokeswoman for the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office told Fox News. The debris was a problem in many coastal communities and still hundreds of thousands of people were also left without power.

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Brock Long, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said many Florida buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane.

The eye of the storm, ...

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio told CNN it would be a "killer hurricane" and warned anyone in the path of the storm surge: "You're going to die". Those winds are expected to arrive between noon and 3 p.m. and will continue until 6 a.m. Thursday.

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With a low barometric pressure recorded at 919 millibars, the measure of a hurricane's force, Michael ranked as the third-strongest storm on record to make landfall in the continental United States.

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

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for 92 counties in his state, and a state of emergency also was announced in North Carolina.

Michael is likely to dump heavy rain over Florida, Alabama, Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Some of those areas are still working to recover from Hurricane Florence. "We have trees being uprooted, heavy, heavy rain".

More than 5,000 evacuees sought shelter in Tallahassee, which is about 40km from the coast but is covered by live oak and pine trees that can fall and cause power outages even in smaller storms.

Hurricane Michael, which made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida as a category-4 storm on Wednesday afternoon, has ravaged the Florida Panhandle with gusting winds of up to 155mph (250kph).

Are you affected by Hurricane Michael?

Central pressure is the measure of how much the atmosphere in the middle of a storm weighs.

Michael was a monster storm by wind speed around the time it made landfall.

The dire verdict is due in part to the extremely rapid strengthening of the storm, from Category 2 in the morning.

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