The scenes of total destruction and devastation that emerged from the Florida Panhandle this week disturbingly resembled the aftermath of a nuclear-strike, with huge sections of towns and communities obliterated by Category 4 Hurricane Michael.
According to the Associated Press, “The devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael came into focus Thursday with rows upon rows of homes found smashed to pieces, and rescue crews struggling to enter stricken areas in hopes of accounting for hundreds of people who may have stayed behind.”
Unimaginable devastation in #MexicoBeach. These are before and after images showing the incredible damage caused by #Hurricane #Michael. Our crews are LIVE in Florida with the latest on recovery efforts. #HurricaneMichael pic.twitter.com/lkEg5Lhdy6
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) October 12, 2018
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said locals this week were forced to deal with “unimaginable destruction” after the monster storm hit the region with 155 mph winds; just two mph shy of reaching full-fledged Category 5 status.
“So many lives have been changed forever. So many families have lost everything,” he added.
The worst damage was reported in Mexico Beach, Florida, where a storm surge of over nine feet inundated roads and homes as the hurricane approached.
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'TOO LATE TO LEAVE': Hurricane Michael Could Strengthen to CAT 5, Landfall in Hours
Hurricane Michael is gathering strength and picking up steam as it heads towards the coast of Florida’s panhandle Wednesday; potentially becoming a Category 5 storm as it makes landfall later today.
“As powerhouse Michael, a Category 4 hurricane, hurtled closer to the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, the supercharged storm had maximum sustained winds of 150 mph – just seven miles shy of a Category 5,” warned USA Today.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2018
“It’s our first storm (forecast) to be on top of us,” said one longtime resident. “We’ve had a number of them come into the Gulf, and either come to the left or the right of us. But never on top of us.”
“The time to evacuate coastal areas has come and gone,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott. “If you are in an inland county you might have one more chance to evacuate, but only if local officials say it is safe.”
155 MPH FURY: Hurricane Michael SLAMS Florida, Nears CAT 5
Hurricane Michael hit the Florida panhandle Wednesday afternoon at winds just shy of a Category 5 storm; smashing the coastline with sustained winds of 155 mph and drenching downpours.
The National Hurricane Center confirmed the storm made landfall at approximately 1pm Wednesday afternoon and was moving north-northeast at 14 mph.
“Water levels continue to rise quickly along the coast of the Florida Panhandle, the NHC said. “A National Ocean Service water level station at Apalachicola recently reported over 5.5 feet of inundation above ground level.”
— Emilie Ikeda (@EmilieIkedaFOX5) October 10, 2018
“Hurricane Michael is a dangerous, catastrophic life-threatening storm,” said a senior meteorologist at Fox News. “The panhandle of Florida has never had a Cat 4 landfall in their history, and Michael could go down as the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. in the month of October.”