Hurricane Michael made a dramatic landfall Wednesday afternoon as a fiercer-than-expected Category 4 storm, and the risks are far from over.
After landing near Mexico Beach and Panama City in Florida, Michael continued to move. The storm is expected to enter Georgia early Wednesday evening as a Category 3 or 2, tearing up houses in its path and taking out power for hundreds of thousands of people. There’s still a big inland flooding risk too. As Michael makes its way inland, it will dump rain over Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas (which are still recovering from the inundation of Hurricane Florence)
Michael is the most powerful storm ever to hit the Florida Panhandle — with 155 mph winds and 9 to 14 feet of storm surge in some areas — and it shows. Already 200,000 people are without power. As measured by barometric pressure, Michael is one of the most powerful storms to ever make landfall in the US.
Local news reporters, storm chasers, photo journalists, and meteorologists are beginning to share images from the ground on what was left in Michael’s wake. It looks like a tornado hit some of these areas. And the situation will remain dangerous as the storm, which is still a hurricane, pushes inland.