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WHAT’S HAPPENING: Devastation in Florida, flooding elsewhere
12 October 2018, 08:18 | Justin Tyler
Michael smashed into Florida's northwest coast near the small town of Mexico Beach on Wednesday with screeching 155 mile per hour (250 kilometers per hour) winds, pushing a wall of seawater inland. Some residents with destroyed or damaged homes counted themselves lucky to have survived. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said she fears widespread power outages and other problems would follow. "We're happy to be alive".
In Panama City, most homes were still standing, but no property was left undamaged.
A fast and furious Hurricane Michael is speeding toward the Florida Panhandle with 120 miles per hour winds and a potential storm surge of 13 feet, giving tens of thousands of people precious little time to get out or board up.
A man outside Tallahassee, Fla., was killed by a falling tree, and an 11-year-old girl in Georgia died when the winds picked up a carport and dropped it on her home.
So far, Coast Guard crews in Florida have rescued 40 people and assisted 232.
Long said several hospitals in the Panhandle were hit by the hurricane and patients had to be evacuated.
Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center in hard-hit Panama City, 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Mexico Beach, was treating some of the injured.
"The wind was really tearing us apart".
More than 900,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas were without power.
Florida Governor Rick Scott toldthe Weather Channel the damage from Panama City down to Mexico Beach was "way worse than anybody ever anticipated". Roofs had been peeled off and carried away.
A Hurricane Warning is still in place in coastal Bay County, Florida.
"The kids live nearby".
At least three deaths were blamed on Michael, the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S.in over 50 years, and it wasn't done yet: Though reduced to a tropical storm, it brought flash flooding to North Carolina and Virginia, soaking areas still recovering from Hurricane Florence. He said people will "not be dragged out of their homes, " but anyone who stays behind will be on their own once the storm hits.
Michael pummelled communities across the Panhandle and turned streets into roof-high waterways.
The storm moved north on a path between Cozumel in southeastern Mexico and the western tip of Cuba, the Miami-based hurricane center said. By 8 a.m. Tuesday, top winds had reached 100 miles per hour (155 kph), and it was forecast to strengthen more, with winds topping 111 miles per hour (179 kph), capable of causing devastating damage. As flooding gets worse and worse, more dots will turn blue.
Brad Rippey, a meteorologist for the U.S. Agriculture Department, said Michael severely damaged cotton, timber, pecans and peanuts, causing estimated liabilities as high as $1.9 billion and affecting up to 3.7 million crop acres (1.5 million hectares).
The Gulf of Mexico is home to 17 percent of daily U.S. crude oil output and 5 percent of daily natural gas output, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Mandatory evacuation orders went into effect Tuesday morning for some 120,000 people in Panama City Beach and across other low-lying parts of the coast as Hurricane Michael approaches.
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He had earlier said the government would need at least $8 billion to meet external debt payments through the end of the year. It also issued reports on government finance and financial stability that warn of the risks of disruptions to world trade.