NOAA Says It’s Category 3 With 120 Mph Winds, Storm Surge

Clark Diaz
October 12, 2018

Thousands of dead fish were cleared from North Carolina's Interstate 40, with a 20-foot whale reportedly washed ashore as Florida braces for similar chaotic scenes.

"Things, we can replace", he said.

As Hurricane Michael barrels toward the US states along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, and Tropical Storm Leslie lingers in the Central Atlantic, Tropical Storm Nadine has formed off the west coast of Africa in the far eastern Atlantic.

The national weather forecaster says Michael is expected to generate some minor storm surges and large swells along Newfoundland's south and east coasts during the falling tide early Saturday afternoon.

Nearly one-and-a-half million customers were without power from Florida to Virginia on Thursday night.

Damage to houses after Hurricane Florence was so bad it strained the Carolinas' housing markets.

Emergency services carried out dozens of rescues of people caught by swiftly moving floodwaters in North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper said.

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Sharon Black, who lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, anxious that Michael's winds would blow away debris still piled up on front lawns from Florence.

It "poses a deadly threat and as it grows stronger, we can expect it make landfall as a major Category 3 storm", said Scott, warning that it "could bring total devastation to parts of our state, especially in the panhandle". Aluminum siding was shredded and homes were split by fallen trees.

By comparison Tropical Storm Nadine, which is churning west from the coast of Africa, is facing the same level of wind shear that Michael faced, or up to 25 miles per hour.

Almost 950,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida, Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia on Thursday. Officials didn't say whether anyone else was in the vehicle. An 11-year-old Georgia girl was killed when the hurricane's high winds tore away a carport and sent it smashing into a modular home where the girl was visiting her grandparents.

"This is not stuff that you just put back together overnight", Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said Thursday.

In Pittsylvania County, Virginia, 45-year-old James King Jr. died after his auto was caught in a flash flood and he was swept away, state police said.

And: "This rainfall could lead to flash flooding".

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Diane Farris, 57, and her son walked to a high school-turned-shelter near their home in Panama City to find about 1,100 people crammed into a space meant for about half as many.

The Coast Guard said it rescued at least 27 people before and after the hurricane's landfall, mostly from coastal homes. "Take care of them", he said.

Now, rescuers and residents are struggling to get into the ground-zero town to assess the damage and search for the hundreds of people believed to have stayed behind. Nine people had to be rescued by helicopter from a bathroom of a home in hard-hit Panama City after their roof collapsed, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Hodges said.

It could be weeks before power is restored to the most damaged parts of Florida.

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center treated some people but the hospital evacuated 130 patients as it was dealing with its own hurricane effects.

The letter to President Donald Trump declares their "full support" for the emergency declaration sought by Gov. Rick Scott, stressing the need for early preparations. "We will not rest or waver until the job is done and the recovery is complete".

Even if the storm stays offshore and doesn't directly impact the region, we'll be seeing some soaking rains later this week, partly fueled by Michael.

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"I have had employees going to the communities where our kids live, going door to door and checking", Principal Britt Smith by phone. Closer to the ocean, squares of concrete served as the only evidence that houses had stood there just the day before.

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