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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Deadly Hurricane Michael,Devastated Florida Panhandle,Broke Records

Hurricane Michael turns 

deadly and moves inland

 to Georgia

Jay Reeves, Brendan FarringtonAssociated Press
Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle with terrifying winds of 155 mph 
Wednesday, killing at least one person, splintering homes and submerging neighborhoods
 before continuing its destructive march inland across the Southeast.
It was the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in nearly 50 years and at least 
one death was reported during its passage.

Supercharged by abnormally warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Category 4 storm 
crashed ashore in the early afternoon near Mexico Beach, a tourist town about midway
 along the Panhandle, a 200-mile stretch of white-sand beach resorts, fishing towns and 
military bases. After it ravaged the Panhandle, Michael entered south Georgia as a 
Category 3 hurricane — the most powerful in recorded history for that part of the
 neighboring state.
It later weakened to a Category 1 hurricane, and there were reports it spawned possible 
tornadoes in central Georgia.
In north Florida, Michael battered the shoreline with sideways rain, powerful gusts and 
crashing waves, swamping streets and docks, flattening trees, stripped away leaves, 
shredding awnings and peeling away shingles. It also set off transformer explosions and 
knocked out power to more than 388,000 homes and businesses.
A Panhandle man was killed by a tree toppling on a home, Gadsden County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Anglie Hightower said. She said authorities got a call Wednesday evening 
that the man was trapped but rescue crews were hampered by downed trees and debris 
blocking roadways. Authorities haven't yet confirmed the man's name.

Damage in Panama City was extensive, with 
broken and uprooted trees and power lines 
down nearly everywhere. Roofs were peeled 
off and homes split open by fallen trees. 
Twisted street signs lay on the ground.
 Residents emerged in the early evening to 
assess damage when rains stopped, though 
skies were still overcast and windy.
Vance Beu, 29, was satying with his mother at her apartment, Spring Gate Apartments, a
 small complex of single-story wood frame apartment buildings. A pine tree punched a hole 
in their roof and he said the roar of the storm sounded like a jet engine as the winds 
accelerated. Their ears even popped as the barometric pressure dropped.
“It was terrifying, honestly. There was a lot of noise. We thought the windows were going to 
break at any time. We had the inside windows kind of barricaded in with mattresses,” Beu 
Kaylee O'Brien was crying as she sorted through the remains of the apartment she shared 
with three roommates at Whispering Pines apartments, where the smell of broken pine trees
 was thick in the air. Four pine trees had crashed through the roof of her apartment, nearly 
hitting two people. She was missing her 1-year-old Siamese cat, Molly.
“We haven't seen her since the tree hit the den. She's my baby,” O'Brien said, her face wet 
with tears.
In Apalachicola, Sally Crown rode out the storm in her house. The worst damage — she 
thought — was in her yard. Multiple trees were down. But after the storm passed, she drove 
to check on the cafe she manages and saw the scope of the destruction.
“It's absolutely horrendous. Catastrophic,” Crown said. “There's flooding. Boats on the 
highway. A house on the highway. Houses that have been there forever are just shattered.”

Gov. Rick Scott announced soon after the powerful eye had swept inland that “aggressive”
 search and rescue efforts were just beginning and urged people to stay off debris-littered
Hurricane Michael pictures: Powerful storm slams Florida Panhandle
“We are in new territory,” National Hurricane Center Meteorologist Dennis Feltgen 
wrote on Facebook. “The historical record, going back to 1851, finds no 
Category 4 hurricane ever hitting the Florida Panhandle.”

Associated Press writers Tamara Lush in St. Petersburg; Terry Spencer in Fort 
Lauderdale; Freida Frisaro in Miami; Brendan Farrington in St. Marks; Russ Bynum 
in Keaton Beach; Jonathan Drew in Raleigh, N.C.; and Seth Borenstein in Kensington, 
Md., contributed to this story.

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