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Hurricane Michael crushes Georgia, heads toward Carolinas
12 October 2018, 10:00 | Justin Tyler
Image Greg Milam said the hurricane was an intense experience. Pic WeatherNation
It made landfall on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour (249 kph).
A storage facility in Panama City Beach housing hundreds of boats was ripped apart by the strong winds with the roof shredding into strips of twisted metal.
"We are catching some hell" was how a Panama City Beach resident who chose to ride it out described Michael as it made landfall.
Though the storm has weakened, it is continuing on a risky path across the southeast states. Twenty-three miles up the coast in Panama City, blocks of beachfront homes were obliterated and debris lay strewn aside overturned vehicles. As many as 389,639 customers in Florida, 484,487 customers in North Carolina, 117,000 customers in Georgia, 24,000 customers in Alabama, 9,163 customers in SC and 61,067 customers in Virginia.
FEMA's Long said he's anxious the number of deaths will rise Thursday.
Florida officials also said they were moving patients from damaged health care facilities.
Hurricane Michael damaged the Florida Panhandle and crossed Georgia overnight with heavy winds.
An 11-year-old girl in Georgia also died when Michael's winds picked up a carport and dropped it through the roof of her grandparents' home. Darkness concealed the full extent of the damage left behind, but a second death was reported early Thursday, apparently caused by debris crashing through a mobile home and killing a child inside. 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. Downed power lines and blocked roads made it hard for emergency responders to get there. When it landed, its legs crashed through the roof of a neighboring mobile home and hit the girl in the head.
Weather satellites tracking monster Hurricane Michael captured this incredible view of the storm's clouds over North Carolina early yesterday morning (Oct. 11).
"I have had employees going to the communities where our kids live, going door to door and checking", said Principal Britt Smith by phone. The state medical examiner's office has ruled Clark's death among five storm-related fatalities in the state.
Kent Greene, the county's director of emergency management and fire services, said in an email that the man died Thursday after his auto was struck by a tree on a highway east of Statesville.
Haley Nelson stands in front of what is left of one of her father's trailer homes on Wednesday.
"It looks like a tornado came through here", he said. County officials say they're not releasing names or other details yet while families are notified.
Aerial footage from a helicopter showed widespread devastation across the town of about 1,000 people.
They said it was still not clear how many people stayed put and would need to be rescued. "Make no mistake. Michael is a bad storm". It includes the privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial and industrial properties and automobiles.
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Director Stephen Stewart said: "Even though power cuts are rare, during times of heavy rain and flooding they become more likely". Rainfall totals could reach as high as 150mm over the Brecon Beacons, almost as high as the monthly average of 170mm for Wales.
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