HORRIFYING aerial footage shows CATASTROPHIC storm damage

5pm ET Tuesday forecast track for Hurricane Michael

Megan Williams, left, and roommate Kaylee O'Brian take belongings from their destroyed home after several trees fell on the house during Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Florida.

In an advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the potential for a catastrophic event along the Florida Panhandle becomes even more real as Category 4 Hurricane Michael has increased in intensity.

Michael had top sustained winds of 150 miles per hour as its core moved over Florida's Panhandle earlier in the afternoon as forecasters warned rain could reach up to a foot and the life-threatening storm surge could swell to 14 feet (4m).

Myrtle Beach, which is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Florence, is predicted to experience 46 miles per hour winds - the most powerful gusts in the Palmetto State.

The only other hurricane that landed with comparable force this late in the year was Hurricane Hazel in 1954, but Michael was much stronger when it came ashore, Mr. Henson said.

The lower the air pressure, the less air molecules there are.

Without power, the city was plunged into darkness at nightfall and its flooded streets were mostly silent and devoid of people or traffic. 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".

An estimated 375,000 people in more than 20 counties were ordered or advised to evacuate. "Structures built before 2001 are not created to handle that type of wind, typically", Long said.

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"On the forecast track, the core of Michael will move across southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia through this evening". That makes it the fourth strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in the U.S. The hurricane's winds and waves were so strong, their rumblings were detected on seismometers - equipment created to measure earthquakes.

It is believed Michael, a Category 3 storm, is poised to push ashore a "life-threatening" surge of water that will inundate those coastal areas.

President Donald Trump has since approved an emergency declaration for Florida, permitting the federal government to provide resources and aid during Hurricane Michael.

"Storm surge will be the most damaging aspect of the storm", says Kottlowski. According to the National Hurricane Center, "most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months".

The storm, the most severe to hit the Florida Panhandle in a century, brought flash floods, inundating roads and homes.

"That's what happened with Hurricane Andrew - [the National Hurricane Center] looked at the pressure and reanalyzed and upgraded it to a Category 5 storm".

Damage in Panama City near where Michael came ashore Wednesday afternoon was so extensive that broken and uprooted trees and downed power lines lay almost everywhere.

General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command, said some Florida residents may have been surprised by the rapid growth of the storm. Fueled in part by above-average water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico, the storm rapidly intensified at the start of this week.

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