Near 850,000 customers without power in U.S. Southeast after Michael

Clark Diaz
October 12, 2018

By 8 a.m. EDT on Thursday, it had been downgraded to a tropical storm with 50 miles per hour winds as it pushed through Georgia into the Carolinas, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm has now claimed the lives of 11 people across Florida, North Carolina and Georgia. He said this was the strongest hurricane to hit Florida in a century.

Michael remained unsafe even though it weakened over the course of Wednesday afternoon and evening.

"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.

At least three deaths were blamed on Michael, the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental USA in more than 50 years, and it wasn't done yet: Though reduced to a tropical storm, it brought flash flooding to North Carolina and Virginia, soaking areas still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

Numerous houses in Mexico Beach were reduced to naked concrete foundations or piles of debris.

After it ravaged the Panhandle, Michael barreled into south Georgia as a Category 3 hurricane - the most powerful ever recorded for that part of the neighboring state.

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

The hurricane arrived near Mexico Beach in Florida at 2pm (6pm GMT) on Wednesday.

"I'll be travelling to Florida very, very shortly and I just want to wish them all the best". Those numbers are added to the 350,000 accounts without power in Florida, and more than 160,000 in Georgia.

'When I finally got through and spoke to my mom, my mom said Sarah had been hit in the head, ' Roy said. "There was a tree involved".

A man was killed when a tree toppled onto his house in Florida and a girl died when debris fell into a home in Georgia, officials said and local media reported.

"The rapid intensification of these storms, which was part of what made them so risky and devastating, is something models are telling us global warming should make more common globally over the present century", said Gabriel Vecchi, one of the authors of the study and a climate scientist at Princeton University.

The sheriff's office in Gadsden County near Tallahassee says it "can now confirm 4 storm-related fatalities following Hurricane Michael", all of which happened "in relation to or occurred during the storm".

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Michael is expected to dump up to 7 inches of rain in parts of North Carolina and Virginia, the NHC said.

The hurricane unexpectedly increased in strength before it slammed into the Gulf Coast of Florida with its 155 miles per hour winds.

Michael roared ashore Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane near Mexico Beach, rendering the city almost unrecognizable. But it moved so fast and intensified so quickly that people didn't have much time to prepare, and emergency authorities lamented that many ignored the warnings.

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.

Watch videos, courtesy CNN, of Michael's damage.

For East coast surfers, the tradeoffs presented by the Atlantic hurricane season are well-known, and mostly accepted; a window of good waves for a significant scare every decade or so.

Michael upgraded to hurricane, forecast to become major hurricane
The National Hurricane Center has issued a Hurricane Watch from the Alabama-Florida line eastward to the Suwanee River, Florida. Interests along the northeastern and central Gulf Coast areas are advised to monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Michael.

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