Michael: Most violent USA hurricane since 1969

Infared satellite imagery shows Hurricane Michael in the Gulf of Mexico on Oct. 10

Infared satellite imagery shows Hurricane Michael in the Gulf of Mexico on Oct. 10

Supercharged by abnormally warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Category 4 storm crashed ashore in the early afternoon near Mexico Beach, a tourist town about midway along the Panhandle, a 200-mile (320-kilometer) stretch of white-sand beach resorts, fishing towns and military bases.

Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle Wednesday as the most powerful storm to strike the US mainland in 50 years.

At about 3pm, another video taken from the International Space Station showed the eye of the storm - the most powerful to ever hit the Florida Panhandle - as it moved through the state.

Strong winds and rain did hit in Columbia County, but some people living in Lake City told News4Jax they feel like they lucked out, considering the damage from Michael could have been worse. Preliminary reports indicate the child, who authorities believe was 11 years old, died when something fell on a home but authorities have not been able to get to the home yet, said Travis Brooks, the county's emergency management director. We thought the windows were going to break at any time.

Michael grew from a tropical storm into a Category 4 hurricane over the course of about 40 hours.

Michael, located about 20 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of Albany, Georgia and packing maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 km/h), is forecast to become post-tropical cyclone on Friday, the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

"Oh my God, what are we seeing?" said evacuee Rachel Franklin, her mouth hanging open.

The WaterSound Beach Club near Panama City Beach is also sharing a live-cam view of crashing waves and rain.

"North Carolina is staring down another powerful hurricane less than a month (after) Hurricane Florence battered our state", Cooper said at a news conference, The News & Observer reported.

Marino, who lives with his girlfriend and her grandmother, said water started dripping through the chimney, and they feared the wind would send the tree crashing through the roof.

Trump issued an emergency declaration for Florida, freeing up federal funds for relief operations and providing the assistance of FEMA, which has more than 3,000 people on the ground.

"That's what happened with Hurricane Andrew - [the National Hurricane Center] looked at the pressure and reanalyzed and upgraded it to a Category 5 storm". Florida Governor Rick Scott called for residents along the coast to seek refuge immediately.

Up to 12 inches of rain could fall in Florida's Panhandle and Big Bend areas, as well as southeastern Alabama and southern Georgia. Some of those areas are still working to recover from Hurricane Florence.

Previous year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Harvey, which caused a record-equaling $125 billion (USD) in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.

Major cities such as Houston were flooded, causing as much as $300 billion in damage, according to estimates. Wind damage was also evident.

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