Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Hurricane Michael Photos Show 'Monstrous' Storm Surge Pummeling Florida Panhandle

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Theresa Hayes | 11 October, 2018, 16:41

All the way up to the Carolinas, destructive flooding from the storm's rains is expected.

Even before landfall, the hurricane disrupted energy operations in the Gulf, cutting crude oil production by more than 40 percent and natural gas output by almost one-third as offshore platforms were evacuated before the storm hit.

"Hurricane Michael is a deadly Category 4 storm".

People seek safety in a shelter as Hurricane Michael approaches, October 10, 2018, in Panama City, Fla.

Videos have been posted throughout the day as the hurricane hits the Gulf Coast and one in particular taken in Panama City Beach, Florida shows the insane power of the storm.

Michael isn't alone. The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Leslie and Tropical Storm Nadine are no threat to land over the open Atlantic Ocean, but Tropical Storm Sergio in the Pacific is blowing toward the Baja California Peninsula on a path across Mexico to the southern U.S. Plains and the Ozarks by the weekend.

In the hours and days ahead, the storm is expected to take a largely easterly course, pushing up through Georgia and the Carolinas before eventually making its way back out to sea sometime after Thursday evening.

"It really started as a tropical storm, and then it went to Category 1, then it was Category 2 and before you know it, it was Category 4", O'Shaughnessy told Reuters.

The governor didn't wait for damage assessments before seeking federal assistance from President Donald Trump for 14 counties: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor and Wakulla.

-Hurricane history: first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in Florida's Panhandle since record-keeping began in 1851.

"Northwest Florida has never encountered a storm of this magnitude", Rogers said in a release. The debris was a problem in many coastal communities and still hundreds of thousands of people were also left without power.

Hurricane Michael also stands out because of its late arrival. "We haven't seen as robust of an evacuation response from the civilian population that we have seen in other storms". Scientists say global warming is responsible for more intense and more frequent extreme weather, such as storms, droughts, floods and fires.

-Strorm riders: Roughly 375,000 people in Florida warned to evacuate; many refused.

A hurricane warning was in place from the Okaloosa/Walton county line to the Suwannee River and a tropical storm warning was in effect for north of Fernandina Beach, Fla., to Duck, N.C., and Pamlico and Albemarle sounds. "This happened so quickly", he said. Up to 12 inches of rain could fall in the area.

Past year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Harvey, which caused a record-equaling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area. Even with all of those warnings, more than 15 million Floridians lost power during that hurricane.