'My God, it's scary' - jaw-dropping hurricane slams into Florida coast

Greg Milam in Florida. Pic Sky News and WeatherNation

Michael charged ashore on Wednesday near the small Florida Panhandle town of Mexico Beach as one of the most powerful storms in US history, with top sustained winds of 155 miles per hour (250 km per hour).

Where did the storm make landfall?

Hurricane Michael, the fiercest storm to hit Florida in more than 80 years and the third-most powerful ever to strike the US mainland, battered the state's Gulf coast on Wednesday with roof-shredding winds, towering surf and torrential rains.

"Hopefully they don't, but those numbers could climb as search and rescue teams get out", he said.

At a morning meeting at Florida's emergency operation center, staff debriefed on the aftermath of Hurricane Michael across the Panhandle.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the eye of Michael was about 48 kilometres south-southwest of Macon in central Georgia at 12:00 a.m. ET Thursday. It was moving to the northeast at 23 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour.

What the 9-foot storm surge didn't destroy, the 155 miles per hour winds finished off.

A view of the eye of Hurricane Michael taken on October 10, 2018 from the International Space Station now orbiting Earth.

Communications outages and roads blocked by downed trees, strewn power lines and debris made it hard to get an overall assessment on Thursday of the damage wrought by Michael, but the initial picture was grim.

Her brother, she said, lost a condo along the beach, and the other nearby units were also destroyed.

Cesc Fabregas salutes Maurizio Sarri and eyes extended Chelsea stay
Asked whether he wishes to stay at Stamford Bridge, Fabregas added: "I'd love to stay at the club". At the moment I'm good - if I'm the best, If I'm not I don't care. "I don't think so".

Jason Gunderson of the Cajun Navy said flooding and downed power lines made most streets impassible. In Lynn Haven, north of Panama City, he described finding one woman curled up in a fetal position in a garage with a tree over her head - a "very unsafe, sketchy situation", he said.

In Florida, pictures and video from Mexico Beach - a community of about 1,000 people where Michael made landfall around midday Wednesday - showed scenes of devastation, with houses floating in flooded streets, some ripped from their foundations and missing roofs.

Some supplies are being brought in by trucks, but state officials said they're using helicopters to ferry in supplies to some coastal towns where roads aren't cleared. Roofs were peeled away, sent airborne, and homes were split open by fallen trees.

"Kaboom! Like the world moved or something", Lewis said of the moment when the trees snapped while he sheltered inside.

Mexico Beach is on the west end of what's called Florida's Forgotten Coast, so named because it is not heavily developed like numerous state's other shoreline areas, with their lavish homes and high-rise condos and hotels. Michael was the third most powerful hurricane to hit the US mainland, based on barometric pressure. As Michael moved through the Mid-Atlantic Thursday and overnight, flash flood warnings were sent to people in towns from the coast to the slopes of the Appalachian Mountains.

Six people are dead in the storm's path, and authorities fear the toll could climb higher as search-and-rescue efforts continue. "She was 11 years old, but she liked to have fun like a 5-year-old".

So far, no counties along the devastated northwest Florida coast have reported deaths related to the storm. He said he plans to visit storm-ravaged areas as soon as he can. She's desperate for news about the condition of her home, but she can't reach anyone, she says.

But while the winds eased, the threat of flooding rain, including in areas already soaked by a recent hurricane, Florence, along the U.S. East Coast persisted.

Late yesterday Corelogic pegged the wind and storm surge insurance industry loss at up to $4.5 billion, although this was a pre-landfall assessment so did not factor in how the storm tracked after landfall.

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