Michael strengthens into Category 4

In terms of damage the most costly year was 2017, when besides the Caribbean several U.S. coastal states were hit by powerful hurricanes that moved slowly and dumped record rainful for days.

What does Hurricane Michael have in store for the Carolinas? Add Hurricane Michael as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Hurricane Michael news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

The winds were so strong they brought down a billboard in Florida's Panama City, tore down a Texaco gas pumping station canopy in Inlet Beach, and the storm surge completely knocked a house of its foundations in Mexico Beach.

The hurricane arrived near Mexico Beach in Florida at 2pm (6pm GMT).

Michael, which had caught many by surprise with its rapid intensification as it churned north over the Gulf of Mexico, was the most powerful storm ever recorded to hit the Panhandle. Forecasters said it will unleash damaging wind and rain all the way into the Carolinas, still recovering from Hurricane Florence's epic flooding.

As of 5 p.m. EDT, Michael is still a Category 3 major hurricane with its peak winds measuring 125 miles per hour.

More than 300 miles of coastline were under threat, the National Weather Service said.

"We are catching some hell", Timothy Thomas, who rode out the storm with his wife in their home in Panama City Beach, Florida, told the Associated Press news agency.

Damage in Panama City was so extensive that broken and uprooted trees and downed power lines lay almost everywhere.

Even before Michael made full landfall, it was whipping trees with its winds and had caused flooding in the town of Apalachicola, where more than 5 feet (1.5 meters) of water was reported, and about 20 miles away (32 km) in Port St. Joe.

Michael's strong, well-developed core makes for a very powerful, windy storm on land.

Residents of the neighboring state of Georgia should also expect to be heavily impacted by the storm, the FEMA head said.

"Along our coast, communities are going to see unimaginable devastation", Scott said, with storm surge posing the greatest danger. Eastern time. The US Energy Information Administration said about 388,000 customers in Florida, 46,000 customers in Georgia, and 45,000 customers in Alabama were in the dark as the storm moved inland.

As the Tallahassee office of the National Weather Service said on Twitter earlier Wednesday: "If you're not sheltered in place now, you need to be!"

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for 92 counties in his state, and a state of emergency also was announced in North Carolina.

A restaurant fixture known as "Big Gus" is seen damaged by Hurricane Michael in Panama City Beach. At the time, the then-tropical-storm wasn't expected to achieve its current Category 4 status, but now that it's here, it's time to batten down the hatches. "Do not risk your life, leave NOW if you were told to do so", it said.

Scientists have long warned that global warming will make storms more destructive, and some say the evidence for this may already be visible.

Related news



[an error occurred while processing the directive]