Hurricane Michael made landfall on Wednesday 10 October near Mexico Beach, Florida, with top sustained winds reaching 155 miles per hour (249 kph).
Michael is one of the strongest hurricanes to ever make landfall in the United States and described by Florida Governor Rick Scott as the “worst storm the Florida Panhandle has ever seen.”
TV and Social Media images showed massive wind damage, heavily damaged buildings, uprooted trees and downed power lines. Local media report that at least two people have been killed by wind damage
As of late 10 October, more than 400,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
Coastal areas of Florida’s Panhandle region also saw severe flooding from storm surge, including Apalachicola and Panama City. Some homes were submerged in floodwaters up to their roofs in Mexico Beach.
State of Emergency and Evacuations
On 07 October, Florida Governor Scott declared a state of emergency in 26 Florida counties, and expanded it to include 35 counties total the following day.
Florida’s State Emergency Response Team estimates that more than 375,000 Floridians have been ordered to evacuate.
There was some concern from disaster officials that many residents had not evacuated in good time. Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long warned via Social Media “Those who stay to witness storm surge don’t live to tell the tale. If told to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Michael do so now while there’s time,” adding “Do NOT ignore evacuation orders from local officials. You’re time to leave is NOW! Do NOT wait.”
Governor Scott said that, as of 10 October there were 54 shelters open with a population of nearly 6,700 people.
Storm Surge and Flooding
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that water levels at NOAA’s tide gauge in Apalachicola, Florida, reached 7.72 feet / 2.35 metres above high tide after storm surge from Hurricane Michael. This breaks the record set in 2005 from Hurricane Dennis.
In Panama City, water levels reached 5.305 feet / 1.62 metres above high tide.
The storm surge warning has since been discontinued for the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Some heavy rain has already fallen in parts of Florida and Georgia, and more has been forecast by the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
Tallahassee recorded 82 mm of rain in 24 hours to 11 October, Atlanta 89.3 mm and Macon 82.3 mm.
As of 11 October, NHC warned: “Michael is expected to produce total rain accumulations of4 to 7 inches from eastern Georgia to the southern Mid-Atlantic states and 1 to 3 inches over the northern Mid-Atlantic states and coastal southern New England. Isolated maximum amounts of 9 inches are possible in North Carolina and Virginia. This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods.”
The storm weakened as it pushed inland and has been downgraded to a tropical storm, .however, Michael is forecast to intensify as it becomes a post-tropical low over the Atlantic late on Thursday or early Friday.
As of early on 11 October, the center of Tropical Storm Michael was located between Augusta and Atlanta in Georgia, with maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts.
NHC said “Michael is moving toward the northeast near 21 mph (33 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue with an increase in forward speed through tonight. A turn toward the east-northeast and an even faster forward speed are expected on Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move through eastern Georgia into central South Carolina this morning, then moves across portions of central and eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia into the Atlantic Ocean by late tonight or early Friday.”
A look at what houses in #Mexico Beach, #Florida look like right now. This is a follow up from the previous clip posted. They are now submerged and were no match for #HurricaneMichael (via Tessa Talarico) #Hurricane #Michael #HurricaneMichael2018 pic.twitter.com/GJENrhFJha
— Josh Benson (@WFLAJosh) October 10, 2018
DESTRUCTION. More images of destruction from Mexico Beach, #Florida. #HurricaneMichael is now a Category 3 storm. (via Tessa Talarico) #Hurricane #Michael #Florida pic.twitter.com/Wkayw5RW7v
— Josh Benson (@WFLAJosh) October 10, 2018
There’s a lot of damage in Panama City, FL. #HurricaneMichael pic.twitter.com/c3Ik4R3ZRs
— Jeff Gammons (@StormVisuals) October 10, 2018
Using available observations and a post-landfall hindcast simulation of
SLOSH, the NHC's Storm Surge Unit estimates peak storm surge inundation values of 9-14 ft from Mexico Beach eastward through Apalachee Bay. Highest surge is estimated near Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe.
— NHC_Surge (@NHC_Surge) October 11, 2018
Michael weakened as it pushed inland, but brought flooding rain to parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
B - Panama City
C - Apalachicola
D - Irmo, South Carolina
E - Boone
F - Hendersonville
G - Columbia
H - Roanoke
Apalachicola. FL - October 10 to October 10, 2018
Apalachicola, Florida, reached 7.72 feet / 2.35 metres above high tide after storm surge from Hurricane Michael. This breaks the record set in 2005 from Hurricane Dennis.
Panama City, FL - October 10 to October 10, 2018
In Panama City, water levels reached 5.305 feet / 1.62 metres above high tide
Tallahassee, FL - October 10 to October 11, 2018
All figures from WMO unless otherwise stated.
Atlanta, GA - October 10 to October 11, 2018
Athens, GA - October 10 to October 11, 2018
Macon, GA - October 10 to October 11, 2018
Columbia, SC - October 10 to October 11, 2018
Augusta, GA - October 10 to October 11, 2018
Greenville, SC - October 10 to October 11, 2018
Calhoun, GA - October 10 to October 11, 2018
NWS figures - According to NWS this was the highest rainfall amount from Hurricane Michael as of 11 October.
Asheville NC - October 11 to October 12, 2018
Charlotte/Douglas, NC - October 11 to October 12, 2018
Raleigh/Raleigh-Durham, NC - October 11 to October 12, 2018
Greensboro, NC - October 11 to October 12, 2018
Roanoke, VA - October 11 to October 12, 2018
Richmond/Byrd, VA - October 11 to October 12, 2018
Dan River, Danville VA - October 11 to October 11, 2018
30.1 feet / 9.17 m, previous record high was 28.6 / 8.78 m
New River at Radford, VA - October 11 to October 11, 2018
Major flood stag is 20 feet / 6.096 m
Roanoke River at Roanoke, VA - October 11 to October 11, 2018
Major flood stage is 16 feet / 4.88 m
October 10 to October 12, 2018
four in Florida, one in Georgia, and one in North Carolina (all result of wind damage, although details of 3 fatalities in Florida unavailable as of 12 October)
Florida - October 10 to October 10, 2018
Florida Governor Scott said that, as of 10 October there were 54 shelters open with a population of nearly 6,700 people. Florida’s State Emergency Response Team estimates that more than 375,000 Floridians have been ordered to evacuate.