Michael downgraded to tropical storm, kills 2 in Florida

Gerald Herbert  APA woman checks on her vehicle as Hurricane Michael passes through in Panama City Beach Fla. Oct. 10 2018

Rick Reichmuth, Fox News' chief meteorologist, said Michael was the fourth-most powerful storm to make landfall in the us when measuring by wind, which topped out at 155 miles per hour, and the third-most powerful in terms of pressure, at 919 mb. Brandon Clement shot helicopter footage of the devastation left by the Category 4 storm on October 11.

Many homes were ripped apart or washed away altogether in Mexico Beach, the town of 1,000 where the hurricane came ashore.

Michael made landfall on Wednesday afternoon near Mexico Beach, Fla.as a Category 4.

Some 500,000 Florida residents had been ordered or urged to seek higher ground before the storm in 20 counties spanning a 200-mile stretch of shoreline, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said.

The kitties were found in a home with a collapsed ceiling in Panama City, Florida, and have become a symbol of resilience and hope for some in the wake of the ferocious storm.

Georgia's $23.3 billion poultry industry was hit hard after 84 chicken houses, estimated to have held more than 2 million chickens, were destroyed.

Florida officials also said they were moving patients from damaged health care facilities.

On Wednesday morning, a Waffle House spokesman had announced that 30 restaurants in Florida and Georgia were closed in preparation for Hurricane Michael, including locations along the Florida Panhandle from Panama City to Destin.

Hurricane Michael is responsible for at least seven deaths so far, including that of an 11-year-old girl who was killed when a windborne carport fell on her home in Georgia. That storm had maximum-sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, the NHC said.

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The extent of the damage was becoming clear as reporters and photographers toured affected areas and United States television networks flew helicopters along the coast. The hurricane left a path of destruction through the Florida Panhandle and entered Georgia as a Category 3 storm. The state medical examiner's office has ruled Clark's death among five storm-related fatalities in the state.

One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit her in the head.

"The entire county was "pitch black" and there were no clear roads", he said. "I don't know what I'm going to", said Williams. The lead-gray water was so high that roofs were about all that could be seen of many homes.

"There are so many downed power lines and trees that it's nearly impossible to get through the city", Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson said.

"It looks like a tornado came through here", he said.

Thousands of people hunkered down in shelters overnight after fleeing their homes ahead of the storm.

It moved so fast that people didn't' have much time to prepare, and emergency authorities lamented that many ignored the warnings and seemed to think they could ride it out.

Officials at the Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City said dozens of trees and power lines went down, and several buildings lost their roofs across the military base.

Scientists have long warned that global warming will make storms more destructive, and some say the evidence for this may already be visible. Storm surge is worse now than it was 100 years ago, thanks to the rise in sea levels.

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