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11 October 2018, 05:28 | Justin Tyler
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The third-most powerful hurricane to hit the USA mainland in recorded history left a wide path of destruction, destroying homes and shopping centres and felling trees that killed at least two people in Florida and Georgia. In the D.C. area, its effects are a few days off and should be limited.
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.
Michael had top sustained winds of 150 miles per hour as its core moved over Florida's Panhandle earlier in the afternoon as forecasters warned rain could reach up to a foot and the life-threatening storm surge could swell to 14 feet (4m). "It is most likely that the very warm water in the Gulf.is likely contributing to the intensity and the intensification that we have seen", Jim Kossin, an atmospheric scientist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration toldReuters.
After carving an agonizing path of destruction across the Florida Panhandle, Georgia and southeastern Alabama for almost 10 hours, Hurricane Michael finally slowed to a tropical storm at midnight and continued to weaken early Thursday. The storm is expected to drop as much as 12 inches of rain in some areas of the state before continuing its path north into Georgia and moving northward into southeastern New England Thursday night and Friday.
"Hurricane Michael is forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in a century", Governor Rick Scott said. Part of the awning fell and shattered the glass front door of the hotel, and the rest of the awning wound up on vehicles parked below it. Tropical-storm-force winds in the 60 mph range are extending out 160 miles from the center of the storm, the NHC reported at 5 a.m. Thursday. The neighbor said all the docks in the area are destroyed, the roads are impassable and everyone is stuck in their homes. The only two other storms with more intense central air pressures were the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 and Hurricane Camille in 1969. Forecasters said rainfall could reach up to a foot (30 centimeters), and the life-threatening storm surge could swell to 14 feet (4 meters). The roar of the winds, he said, sounded like a jet engine.
Hours earlier, meteorologists watched satellite imagery in complete awe as the storm intensified. "We thought the windows were going to break at any time", Beu said.
"Going back through records to 1851 we can't find another Cat 4 in this area, so this is unfortunately a historical and incredibly unsafe and life-threatening situation", he said.
There are several ways to measure a hurricane's strength.
While we might not get more storms in a warmer climate, most studies show storms will get stronger and produce more rain. But without extensive study, they can not directly link a single weather event to the changing climate.
- Power outages: 190,000 Florida customers and 32,000 Georgia customers without power.
Marino, who lives with his girlfriend and her grandmother, said water started dripping through the chimney, and they feared the wind would send the tree crashing through the roof. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm.
She could not say what time the death occurred or give any details about the victim.
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