Science

Hurricane Michael heads toward Florida Panhandle, 13 deaths in its wake

Hurricane Michael heads toward Florida Panhandle, 13 deaths in its wake”

Although the full extent of the damage is not yet clear, one thing is certain: Hurricane Michael has been confirmed as the third-most powerful hurricane on record to hit the continental United States.

A hurricane warning was in effect for a more than 300-mile (480-km) stretch of coastline from the Florida-Alabama border to the Suwannee River in Florida.

"We expect Hurricane Michael to make landfall near Panama City, Florida, Wednesday midday or early afternoon", according to AccuWeather forecaster Dan Kottlowski. "Dangerous storm surge continues along the coast of the Florida Panhandle". Up to 5 feet of storm surge is possible from Panama City to Keaton Beach.

Sergeant Anglie Hightower of the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office told local television that the storm left four people dead in the Florida Panhandle county.

The last major hurricane - Category 3 or above - to hit the Panhandle was Hurricane Dennis, which made landfall near Pensacola in 2005, according to hurricane center data.

"We ve been very cautious with sending our first responders out right now", she said. "There was a tree involved".

"If you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient", said Scott.

Several people were taken by van from coastal Wakulla County to Tallahassee's Leon County to the north. Wakulla County's shelters are not considered reliable against storms stronger than a Category 2.

"Where that becomes a factor is with the evacuation of some of the local populations", he said.

Hurricane Michael is yet to make landfall, having skirted past Cuba on its current path. "We haven t seen as robust of an evacuation response from the civilian population that we have seen in other storms".

As Michael moved over open water, energy companies halted almost one-fifth of Gulf of Mexico oil production and evacuated personnel from 10 platforms on Monday.

"Michael should weaken as it crosses the southeastern United States through Thursday", the NHC said.

Below are 15 images that personify the aftermath of the Category 4 storm, which blew ashore along the Panhandle packing 155 miles per hour winds.

An estimated 375,000 people in more than 20 counties were ordered or advised to evacuate.

More than 300 miles of coastline are now under threat, the National Weather Service has said.

Where has Michael hit and where is it now?

. "Don't think that you can ride this out if you're in a low-lying area, " Nelson said on CNN.

"This situation has NEVER happened before", it said on Twitter.

Hurricane Michael is forecast to be the largest hurricane on record to impact the Panhandle and Big Bend area of Florida.

Trump issued an emergency declaration for Florida, freeing up federal funds for relief operations and providing the assistance of FEMA, which has more than 3,000 people on the ground.

It made landfall on the coast as a Category 1 hurricane on September 14 and drenched some parts of the state with 40 inches (101 centimeters) of rain.

Hurricane Michael lashed the Carolinas on Thursday after it claimed at least six lives and tore a trail of carnage through Florida and Georgia.

Past 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.

About 2,500 National Guard troops were deployed to assist with evacuations and storm preparations, and more than 4,000 others were on standby.



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