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Michael forecast to grow into major hurricane
13 October 2018, 11:42 | Justin Tyler
Michael forecast to grow into major hurricane
The speed of the storm barreling toward the Florida Panhandle - Michael was moving north-northwest at 12 miles per hour (19 kph) - was among the hazards worrying forecasters at the National Hurricane Center on Tuesday morning. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Alabama/Florida border to Suwannee River Florida, and a Hurricane Watch is in effect from the Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border.
Search-and-rescue teams fanned out across the Florida Panhandle to reach trapped people in Michael's wake Thursday as daylight yielded scenes of rows upon rows of houses smashed to pieces by the third-most powerful hurricane on record to hit the continental U.S.
"Let me be clear, Hurricane Michael is a monstrous storm and the forecast keeps getting more risky", Florida Gov. Rick Scott said.
Michael remained unsafe even though it weakened over the course of Wednesday afternoon and evening.
It is now forecasted that at least 14 storms would hit the United States in this hurricane season, which is up by three from the last forecast.
Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith said his deputies had gone door to door in some places along the coast to urge people to evacuate. Neighborhood streets flooded as waves battered the shoreline.
Almost 370,000 people were left without power, mostly in Florida, but also Alabama and Georgia, news reports said.
It was also the first major hurricane (Category 3 or above) to strike the Florida Panhandle since Hurricane Dennis in 2005.
Storm surge watches and warnings were issued for much of the coast north and east of the Gulf of Mexico. "You want to check on things, and begin the recovery process", Scott said.
Storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to produce heavy rainfall.
Michael was more intense at landfall than hurricanes Andrew, Katrina and Maria. "There was a tree involved". The agency declined to provide additional details on the death beyond saying it occurred in Wayne County.
Litschauer told county commissioners Tuesday the area is expecting wind gusts up to 30 to 40 miles per hour.
General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said some Florida residents may have been surprised by the rapid growth of the storm. "Remember, this storm could grow stronger and be a Category 3 hitting our state".
The NHC said tropical storm Michael will continue to move northeast toward the Carolinas - as of 0900 GMT the eye was in eastern Georgia - until it moves off the mid-Atlantic coast by early Friday.
One of the hardest-hit spots was Mexico Beach, where Michael crashed ashore Wednesday as a Category 4 monster with 155 miles per hour (250 kph) winds.
Tropical Storm Michael brought life-threatening flash flooding and powerful winds as it crossed through North Carolina and Virginia Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm caused catastrophic damage, leaving over 490,000 people with power outages in Alabama, Georgia and Florida and one reported fatality as of Wednesday night, according to CNN.
The Carolinas are still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which left dozens dead and is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in damage last month.
On Oct. 8, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Hurricane Michael when it was a Category 1 hurricane near the western tip of Cuba. The company said the reinsurance programs performed well after Hurricane Irma past year, which caused about $50 billion in damages in Florida.
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