Science

Watch as Florida man gets rare look inside Hurricane Michael's eye

Watch as Florida man gets rare look inside Hurricane Michael's eye”

Video from a drone revealed some of the worst damage in Mexico Beach, where the hurricane crashed ashore Wednesday as a Category 4 monster with 155 miles per hour (250 kph) winds and a storm surge of 9 feet (2.7 meters).

Since making landfall on Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, the now tropical storm has left thousands of people without power, uprooted trees, turned homes and marinas into ruins and killed at least 2 people.

Mexico Beach, located on Florida's northwestern coast, "took the brunt" of Hurricane Michael and is "probably ground zero", FEMA administrator Brock Long said Thursday.

Much of downtown Port St. Joe, 19 km east of Mexico Beach, was flooded after Michael snapped boats in two and hurled a large ship onto the shore, residents said. Nine people had to be rescued by helicopter from a bathroom of a home in hard-hit Panama City after their roof collapsed, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Hodges said.

Residents emerged in the early evening to assess damage when rains stopped, though skies were still overcast and windy.

Florida state emergency officials say they've done an initial search of 80 percent of the area affected by Hurricane Michael, and found no sign of widespread deaths.

There were at least 6 confirmed fatalities, including a Florida man killed by a tree that crashed through his roof, a North Carolina man also struck by a fallen tree, and an 11-year-old Georgia girl who died when a carport rammed the family's modular home. That storm had maximum-sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, the NHC said. Metal sheets flew past them as they were reporting live. The National Hurricane Centre warned of possible spinoff tornadoes and heavy rains in Alabama and Georgia, before the storm heads for SC, already soaked by Hurricane Florence in September.

11-year-old Sarah Radney, identified by a coroner Thursday, was killed when a portable carport fell on her home in Seminole County, which is in the extreme southwest corner of Georgia.

Some fear the toll can only rise as rescue teams get around storm debris blocking roads and reach isolated areas. "I'm literally shocked at the scale of the destruction", storm chaser Josh Morgerman tweeted Wednesday night.

"I told my wife, Judy, 'Come on out, you want to see what a tornado looks like?'" He said there were numerous trees down across the county.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned of possible flash flooding Thursday in parts of Georgia, the Carolinas and southeastern Virginia because of heavy rains from Michael.

"My home was built in 1962 is the only one with a solid roof left", Golding said.

Early Thursday, he said that Michael was "definitely one of the most violent [hurricanes] I've been in". It was a clear warning that the storm should be taken seriously. The fate of many other residents was unknown, authorities said.

Officials at the Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City said dozens of trees and power lines went down, and several buildings lost their roofs across the military base. Patterson estimated 1,000 homes were completely or partially destroyed in his town of 3,500 people. When the house filled with storm surge water, they fled upstairs.



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