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Hurricane Michael weakens further as it crosses Georgia

11 October 2018, 02:43 | Edward Lowe

Hurricane Michael weakens further as it crosses Georgia

Hurricane Michael weakens further as it crosses Georgia

Carlo Allegri / Reuters Waves wash over a house as Hurricane Michael comes ashore in Alligator Point, Florida, on October 10.

Michael intensified to a Category 4 early Wednesday with winds of 155 miles per hour, making it the most powerful storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in 100 years.

Two people have been killed by falling trees due to the extreme weather, according to officials.

Hurricane Michael, the most powerful on record to hit the Florida Panhandle since 1851, is tracking north toward Georgia and the Carolinas and bringing unsafe storm surges and flooding.

Footage shared at around 4pm showed the wind speeds had dropped to 140mph, with a central pressure of 927 MB, but it remained a "very powerful hurricane".

Corelogic noted the compact nature of hurricane Michael, which will have limited the size of the swathe of damage on landfall, but the storm surge has impacted a wide area from Mobile, AL to Tampa, FL, with the maximum storm surge anticipated to be east of Panama City to coastal cities south of Tallahassee, the firm said. Beachfront structures could be seen collapsing and metal roofing materials were blown away amid the heavy rain.

Without power, the city was plunged into darkness at nightfall and its flooded streets were mostly silent and devoid of people or traffic.

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As the Category 4 storm's center crossed nearby, Mulligan said, the concrete building shook and vibrated against sustained winds around 155 miles per hour.

After the space station passed over the storm, Auñón-Chancellor shared a photograph of the storm's eye.

Hurricane Michael has killed one person in northern Florida - the first confirmed death from the powerful storm.

Michael had top sustained winds of 150 miles per hour as its core moved over Florida's Panhandle earlier in the afternoon as forecasters warned rain could reach up to a foot and the life-threatening storm surge could swell to 14 feet (4m).

"On the forecast track, the core of Michael will move across southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia through this evening", the NHC 5 p.m. advisory read. It made landfall on the coast as a Category 1 hurricane on September 14 and drenched some parts of the state with 40 inches (101 centimeters) of rain.

"We're sending them out now", Scott said. "The historical record, going back to 1851, finds no category four hurricane ever hitting the Florida Panhandle".

"We are catching some hell", said Timothy Thomas, who rode out the storm with his wife in their second-floor apartment in Panama City Beach.

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Utility crews from Gulf Power, Duke Energy Florida, Florida Power & Light and public utilities have lined up more than 19,000 workers from their own crews and through mutual-aid agreements with companies across the South and Midwest.

"And this one is going to end up potentially causing more loss of life and damage than a storm like Irma".

Ken Graham, director of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, said Michael is "unfortunately, a historical and incredibly unsafe and life-threatening situation". He acknowledged that a lot of the residents in the area were poor and said it was probably tough to leave.

Across the Panhandle, roaring winds splintered trees and rooftops.

Another key element to the strength of the storm is its minimum central pressure dropped again, this time to 931 millibars, meaning the eye of the storm is strong, intact and well-defined.

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

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