Monday, 20 May, 2019


Hurricane Michael: 'Unimaginable destruction after monster storm'

Hurricane Michael claims 1st victim as it leaves path of destruction in Florida AFP JOE RAEDLE
Kristine Garrett | 12 October, 2018, 22:00

Tropical Storm Michael took its drenching rains to Georgia and the Carolinas on October 10, after battering Florida's Panhandle as the third most powerful hurricane ever to strike the US mainland and killing at least two people.

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.

State officials said 285 people in Mexico Beach had defied a mandatory evacuation order ahead of the storm. Scientists say global warming is responsible for more intense and more frequent extreme weather, such as storms, droughts, floods and fires. "It destroyed everything", Jason Gunderson, a member of a group of rescue workers that calls itself the Cajun Navy, told CNN early on Thursday from Callaway, a suburb of Panama City.

Over 900,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas were without power.

Long was asked about Michael's confirmed death toll, which stands at two.

Residents and officials were taking stock of the damage on Thursday.

Michael Williams, 70, waved to passing motorists while looking for food and water as downed trees prevented him from driving out of his damaged home with his family in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Springfield, Fla., today.

In Georgia, an 11-year-old girl died when a vehicle port flipped into the air by a gust of wind landed on her home, Travis Brooks, head of the emergency relief agency in Seminole County, told AFP.

"This is what we expect with storm surge and high wind events", said Craig Fugate, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a former emergency management chief for the state of Florida. They were supposed to return home Thursday morning.

Hurricane Michael left a wake of destruction along the Florida Panhandle and knocked trees across the major interstate that runs through the area. At 5 a.m., the storm was located about 30 miles west of Augusta. Emergency responders weren't able to get there in time to save her, thanks to the debris clogging the roads.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned of possible flash flooding Thursday in parts of Georgia, the Carolinas and southeastern Virginia because of heavy rains from Michael. "I'm literally shocked at the scale of the destruction", storm chaser Josh Morgerman tweeted Wednesday night.

A Panhandle man was killed by a tree that toppled on a home, Gadsden County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Anglie Hightower said.

An estimated 375,000 people in more than 20 counties were ordered or advised to evacuate.

"I just need to know he's OK", McCall said. Though most homes were still standing, no property was left undamaged.

"There are so many downed power lines and trees that it's nearly impossible to get through the city", Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson said.

"Water will come miles in shore and could easily rise over the roofs of houses", he said.

Tropical storm conditions are occurring over portions of central and eastern SC and will spread northward over central and eastern North Carolina this afternoon and evening.

Michael's strength may reflect the effect of climate change on storms.

It also brought the dangers of a life-threatening storm surge.

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