UPDATE: Deadly Hurricane Michael devastates Florida Panhandle before moving inland

11 months 1 week 2 days ago Wednesday, October 10 2018 Oct 10, 2018 Wednesday, October 10, 2018 11:11:00 AM CDT October 10, 2018 in Top Stories
By: Jason Hanna and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

(CNN) -- At least one person is dead and hundreds of thousands of homes are without power as Hurricane Michael moves inland from Florida to Georgia.

Michael made landfall Wednesday around 2 p.m. ET as a Category 4 storm near Mexico Beach, Florida. The strongest storm to hit the continental US since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Michael dashed homes into pieces, swallowed marinas and left piles of rubble where shopping centers once stood.

Now a Category 1 storm with winds up to 90 mph, the storm is moving across southwestern Georgia about about 17 mph near Albany. Meanwhile, flooding continues along the Gulf Coast, where downed trees and utility polls are making precarious rescue efforts even harder.

Key developments
• A man died after a tree fell on a home near Greensboro, Florida, the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office said.

• Nine Florida counties have enacted curfews.

• More than 500,000 customers are without power in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

• Bay County is under a mandatory boil water notice.

• A tornado watch is in effect for much of northern Florida and south and central Georgia until 2 a.m. ET Thursday.

• Arrests have been made after reports of looting in Bay County, Florida, Congressman Neal Dunn said.

Scenes of devastation
Mexico Beach resident Patricia Mulligan said the concrete building she lives in shook and vibrated as the storm's center crossed nearby.

When she dared to look outside, Mexico Beach's emerald waters and white sugar-sand beaches were covered in a dark sea of splintered debris, she said. Roofs were torn off homes and the marina was gone. Water levels approached the tops of palm trees.

The devastation reminded her of what she witnessed in 1992 when Andrew hit. And she estimated that it would take the same amount of time to fix the damage -- possibly months or even a year.

"We didn't think it was going to be this bad," she told CNN.

After making landfall near Mexico Beach around 2 p.m. ET, the eye of Michael moved inland over the Florida Panhandle east of Panama City.

Wind gusts blew out windows in homes and office buildings, including the First Federal Bank.

Stores and entire shopping centers that were turned into piles of rubble. Other buildings were stripped of their walls and roofs or ripped apart by downed trees and power lines.

Medical Sacred Heart lost its windows and sustained damage to its roof and exterior walls. The hospital said it is running off of generators and patients have been moved to safe areas of the facility.

Jason Gunderson of the Cajun Navy said flooding and downed power lines made most streets impassible. Further hindering rescue efforts were trees that had crashed into homes. In Lynn Haven, north of Panama City, he described finding one woman curled up in a fetal position in a garage with a tree over her head -- a "very dangerous, sketchy situation," he said.

"It's a sight to see, and very sad. Very horrible," Gunderson said.

Brandon and Sydni Troupe were preparing for the grand opening this weekend of their new Panama City business when Michael hit.

They said they spent the past year renovating a house with new floors, walls and a paint job. They intended to sell children's toys and host family-friendly events, a need they saw in the community. Now, a gigantic tree is lying through their store and they're not sure what to do next.

"I still can't believe it. My mind is still trying to process." Brandon Troupe said.

Across the bay in Panama City Beach, a resort city on the Gulf of Mexico known for its white-sand beach and amusement parks, winds of about 100 mph furiously whipped the trees in the early afternoon and pulled apart homes.

Rain just one of several threats
A hurricane warning remains in place from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida.

Meanwhile, tropical storm warnings were in effect for parts of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Storm surge warnings were in place along the Florida and Alabama coasts.

Up to 12 inches of rain could fall in Florida's Panhandle and Big Bend areas, as well as southeastern Alabama and southern Georgia.

Some parts of the Carolinas and southern Virginia, recently deluged by Hurricane Florence, could see up to 6 inches, the hurricane center said.

Effect of climate change
Michael's strength may reflect the effect of climate change on storms. The planet has warmed significantly over the past several decades, causing changes in the environment.

Human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere create an energy imbalance, with more than 90% of remaining heat trapped by the gases going into the oceans, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association. There's evidence of higher sea surface temperature and atmospheric moisture, experts say.

While we might not get more storms in a warmer climate, most studies show storms will get stronger and produce more rain. Storm surge is worse now than it was 100 years ago, thanks to the rise in sea levels.

According to Climate Central, a scientific research organization, the coming decades are expected to bring hurricanes that intensify more rapidly, should there be no change in the rate of greenhouse gas emissions.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Some new artwork is continuing to pop up and gain interest on the MU campus. So far,... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, September 18 2019 Sep 18, 2019 Wednesday, September 18, 2019 6:30:00 AM CDT September 18, 2019 in News
MOBERLY - A man with four active warrants was arrested Monday night. According to a press release from the... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, September 18 2019 Sep 18, 2019 Wednesday, September 18, 2019 6:17:00 AM CDT September 18, 2019 in News
MEXICO - Outside the Audrain County courthouse Wednesday, a group of people rallied to create awareness about pets and the... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, September 17 2019 Sep 17, 2019 Tuesday, September 17, 2019 11:23:00 PM CDT September 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police announced they found human remains during a landfill search consistent with the description of a Columbia woman... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, September 17 2019 Sep 17, 2019 Tuesday, September 17, 2019 11:00:00 PM CDT September 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Teachers, students and parents at Blue Ridge Elementary School are getting used to new security measures. Over... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, September 17 2019 Sep 17, 2019 Tuesday, September 17, 2019 6:04:00 PM CDT September 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Multiple people were trapped in elevators across MU's campus as a result of a widespread power outage Tuesday... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, September 17 2019 Sep 17, 2019 Tuesday, September 17, 2019 5:26:00 PM CDT September 17, 2019 in News
CAMDENTON - Police are investigating after a Walmart employee found a man dead in a car in the parking lot... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, September 17 2019 Sep 17, 2019 Tuesday, September 17, 2019 4:08:00 PM CDT September 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Residents are asking for road improvements after a driver hit and killed a 17-year-old girl on Clark Lane... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, September 17 2019 Sep 17, 2019 Tuesday, September 17, 2019 3:46:00 PM CDT September 17, 2019 in News
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The amount of water flowing down the lower Missouri River this year is approaching the... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, September 17 2019 Sep 17, 2019 Tuesday, September 17, 2019 3:39:47 PM CDT September 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA -MU's football attendance is showing signs of revival, following years of steady decline. The Tigers' average home attendance... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, September 17 2019 Sep 17, 2019 Tuesday, September 17, 2019 2:36:00 PM CDT September 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Parents of Columbia Public School students are demanding a change to the way they treat students with special... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, September 17 2019 Sep 17, 2019 Tuesday, September 17, 2019 2:29:00 PM CDT September 17, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- Veteran journalist Cokie Roberts, winner of three Emmys and a legend and trailblazer in broadcasting, has died at... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, September 17 2019 Sep 17, 2019 Tuesday, September 17, 2019 10:06:00 AM CDT September 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is helping two county agencies with a death investigation Tuesday. Troop F,... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, September 17 2019 Sep 17, 2019 Tuesday, September 17, 2019 8:28:00 AM CDT September 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - School Resource Officers (SROs) will be staying in Columbia Public Schools for at least another month. The Columbia... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, September 17 2019 Sep 17, 2019 Tuesday, September 17, 2019 1:22:00 AM CDT September 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A seventeen-year-old is dead after being hit by a car while walking on Clark Lane late Monday night.... More >>
2 days ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 Monday, September 16, 2019 11:20:00 PM CDT September 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A woman face charges of domestic assault, property damage and driving while intoxicated after investigators said she... More >>
2 days ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 Monday, September 16, 2019 10:11:00 PM CDT September 16, 2019 in News
BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS, Mo. — A head-on crash in Cole County over the weekend killed a St. Louis County couple travelling... More >>
2 days ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 Monday, September 16, 2019 9:45:00 PM CDT September 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Hickman High School got its first eSports club five years ago, but this year, it's finally getting its... More >>
3 days ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 Monday, September 16, 2019 3:00:00 PM CDT September 16, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 91°
4pm 90°
5pm 89°
6pm 84°
7pm 82°