Hurricane Michael latest: Watch weather phenomenon turn Florida sky PURPLE

12 Octubre, 2018, 05:40 | Author: Enrique Watson
  • Death Toll Rises As Michael Moves Along US Coast

In the days leading up to the monster storm's landfall on Wednesday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) found cells of the Karenia brevis organism that causes red tide at two water sampling points close to Panama City and Mexico Beach where the storm swept ashore.

A McDonald's sign damaged by Hurricane Michael is pictured in Panama City Beach.

Sally Crown rode out Michael on the Panhandle thinking at first that the worst damage was the many fallen trees in her yard before she emerged to check on the cafe she manages. "But first we need your help, your patience and your understanding that before you return we have to make sure things are safe".

Twenty miles (32km) south of Mexico Beach, floodwaters were more than 7 feet (2.1 meters) deep near Apalachicola, a town of about 2,300 residents, hurricane center chief Ken Graham said.

Entire roofs were torn away and dropped onto a road. The Coast Guard said it rescued at least 27 people, and the National Guard rescued 20 people who survived the direct hit on Mexico Beach.

At Jinks Middle School in Panama City, the storm peeled back part of the gym roof and tore off a wall.

On Tuesday, storm scientists predicted that Hurricane Michael would continue gaining strength as the cyclone approached the coast.

It was still toppling trees with 50-mph (80-kph) winds and bringing life-threatening flash flooding to areas of Georgia and Virginia, still recovering from Hurricane Florence as it marched northeast.

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Michael has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, with maximum sustained wind speeds of 50mph.

"I think everything from Panama City down to Mexico Beach is way worse than anybody ever anticipated", Florida Governor Rick Scott told the Weather Channel.

Hurricane Michael has devastated the Florida Panhandle, leaving at least six people dead and nothing more than empty foundations and rubble in some parts of the small coastal towns it crashed through with near-record breaking force.

Mr Long said several hospitals in the Panhandle were hit by the hurricane and patients had to be evacuated.

According to Florida Power and Light, roughly 400 customers in Columbia County were without power after Michael made landfall, but power was restored within an hour.

Brad Rippey, a meteorologist for the U.S. Agriculture Department, said Michael severely damaged cotton, timber, pecans and peanuts, causing estimated liabilities as high as $1.9 billion and affecting up to 3.7 million crop acres (1.5 million hectares).

Michael also disrupted energy operations in the US Gulf of Mexico as it approached land, cutting crude oil production by more than 40 percent and natural gas output by almost one-third as offshore platforms were evacuated.

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