Breathtaking video from MIDDLE of hurricane Michael shows blue skies

Pablo Tucker
October 11, 2018

Florida's Panhandle is one huge disaster zone after Hurricane Michael made landfall Wednesday.

- Powerful pressure: 919 millibars minimum pressure in the eye, the third most intense hurricane landfall in the recorded history.

"I'll be traveling to Florida very, very shortly and I just want to wish them all the best".

The hurricane is packing devastating winds as high as 150 miles per hour, and is the most powerful storm in recorded history for this part of the Florida coast. But it was still menacing the Southeast with heavy rains, blustery winds and possible spinoff tornadoes, soaking areas swamped by epic flooding last month from Hurricane Florence.

Michael came ashore with winds just under a Category 5 storm. "It sounded like 40 jet engines going off".

Power was out in almost 90 percent of Bay County, which includes Panama City, as night fell Wednesday. He advised tourists and residents that had yet to heed evacuation calls early Wednesday to "hunker down", warning, "It's going to get worse pretty fast here".

Sally Crown rode out Michael on the Florida Panhandle thinking at first that the worst damage was the many trees downed in her yard.

But heavy rain could trigger "life-threatening flash floods" in the Florida Panhandle, southeastern Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, and southern Virginia as the storm moves to the northeast, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Trump was briefed on the hurricane on Wednesday prior to it making landfall and said he would visit the area early next week.

"Oh my God, what are we seeing?" said evacuee Rachel Franklin, her mouth hanging open.

But many people living in counties farther east in North Central Florida were spared. The storm had top sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (96 kph) and was moving to the northeast at 20 miles per hour (32 kph).

Rick Scott, the Florida governor, said on Twitter: "The time to evacuate has come and gone".

In 2016, Hurricane Matthew, which caused the deaths of almost 600 people in Haiti, quickly grew to a Category 5 storm with sustained winds up 165 miles an hour because of rapid intensification.

Meteorologists watched satellite imagery in complete awe as the storm intensified.

Members of the Florida National Guard chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense (CBRN) Enhanced Response Force Package prepare to help citizens in affected areas prior to landfall of Hurricane Michael at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center near Starke, Fla., on October 9, 2018.

Based on wind speed, it was the fourth-strongest, behind Andrew in 1992, Camille, and the biggest one of all, an unnamed 1935 Labor Day storm that had winds of 296kph.

Scientists have long warned that global warming will make storms more destructive, and some say the evidence for this may already be visible.

"I'm just praying for them and, as soon as this passes, we will be out there doing everything we can to rescue everybody..."

Hargan, a bartender at a riverfront restaurant, feared he would lose his home and his job to the storm.

Only a skeleton staff remains at the home of the 325th Fighter Wing after the base's aircraft, which include F-11 Raptors, were flown hundreds of kilometres away as a precaution. "I'm freakin' scared I'm going to lose everything I own, man".

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