Hurricane Michael’s eyewall made landfall in Florida’s panhandle early Wednesday afternoon after days of strengthening in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
#HurricaneMichael – Makes landfall as a Category 4 w/gusts near 160 MPH. Top 3 strongest storms to make landfall in the Gulf. Join us on @bakersfieldnow
— Aaron Perlman (@Aaronsweather) October 10, 2018
Eye wall. #PanamaCityBeach @accuweather @breakingweather pic.twitter.com/ajtMjevStI
— Jonathan Petramala (@jpetramala) October 10, 2018
Hurricane Michael is swirling with maximum sustained winds of around 150 mph and heavy rain. Up to 12 feet of storm surge is expected to slam some areas of Florida’s northwestern coast. The surge could carry inland for miles across the low-lying areas. (RELATED: It’s A ‘Worst Case Scenario’ As Michael Nears Category 5 Strength Before Landfall)
Nine major hurricanes have hit Florida in the past 167 years, but none made landfall as a Category 4 storm. Hurricane Michael is an unprecedented weather event for the area it hit.
“[Hurricane Michael] is the strongest storm to hit the U.S., in terms of wind, since Hurricane Charley in 2004,” AccuWeather Founder and President Dr. Joel N. Myers said, according to AccuWeather.
“It’s crucial to note that a 150-mph storm has four times the force of a 110-mph storm. Damage will be catastrophic within a 50-mile stretch of the coastline where the eye makes landfall, centered around Apalachicola Bay,” Myers continued. “It will look like a bomb or tsunami hit the area.”
After passing over Florida, Michael is expected to trace a path up toward North Carolina and South Carolina before it heads out to the Atlantic Ocean. Both states are still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which hit in September.
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