Michael weakens to tropical storm as it moves across Georgia

Pablo Tucker
October 11, 2018

Hurricane Michael is one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the US, and the proof is strewn across miles of Florida's coastline: Roofs and awnings peeled from buildings, pieces of homes scattered amid snapped trees and downed power lines, chunks of beaches washed away.

With maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour, Hurricane Micheal is bearing down on the Florida panhandle this morning, having intensified into what the National Weather Service called an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane.

State officials issued disaster declarations in Alabama and Georgia and the storm is also expected to bring heavy rainfall to North and SC.

Hurricane Michael is predicted to travel northeast across the southern US, reaching the Atlantic Ocean again on tomorrow night (Oct. 11).

She said: "I'm anxious about my daughter and grandbaby". Its sustained winds were just 2 miles per hour (3.2 kph) shy of an extremely rare Category 5. Forecasters said it will unleash damaging wind and rain all the way into the Carolinas, still recovering from Hurricane Florence's epic flooding.

Warmer water acts as fuel for a hurricane, helping it develop into a more destructive, windier storm.

Hurricane Michael was barely a hurricane Tuesday morning local time, with winds of 90mph (145km/h).

Even before landfall, the hurricane disrupted energy operations in the Gulf, cutting crude oil production by more than 40 percent and natural gas output by almost a third as offshore platforms were evacuated ahead of the storm's arrival.

"It feels like you don't know when the next tree is going to fall on top of you because its blowing so ferociously", said Port St. Joe Mayor Bo Patterson.

Rapid intensification poses new dangers to communities in the path of tropical storms and hurricanes because it makes early forecasts less reliable and because it leaves less time to evacuate or prepare for severe damage.

It was the most powerful hurricane to hit the US mainland in almost 50 years and the most powerful in recorded history to strike the Florida Panhandle.

More than 600,000 customers are without power across Florida and Georgia, with an increasing percentage of these occurring across central Georgia.

"This situation has NEVER happened before", it said on Twitter. 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. Nadine is expected to fizzle out and dissipate in the open waters after running into wind shear, drier air and slightly cooler ocean temperatures, the hurricane center said.

"I can not disappoint the thousands of people that are there - and the thousands that are going", he tweeted. The storm was centered about 70 miles SW of Albany, Georgia.

Michael is likely to dump heavy rain over Florida, Alabama, Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican running for the US Senate in November's congressional elections, declared a state of emergency in 35 Florida counties.

Other reports by iNewsToday