Michael makes its way to ENC

Florida

The storm intensified rapidly - it grew from a tropical depression into a Category 4 hurricane in just 72 hours, which gave residents little time to make plans.

Low barometric pressure increases a storm's intensity, and the barometric pressure within Hurricane Michael early Wednesday was just 925 millibars.

Officials have blamed Hurricane Michael for the deaths of two people as first responders search for victims in the destruction left in its wake.

Emergency Management Division spokesman Derrec Becker said thousands of people lost power though, and 10 shelters are open for people seeking safety from the storm.

The latest Area Forecast Discussion for Jacksonville Courtesy of the National Weather Service.

The wanderings of hurricanes vary widely, steered by wind currents and high- and low-pressure systems; some storms race across oceans and land while others dawdle.

Hurricane Michael flattened rows of houses, ripped apart shopping centres and petrol stations, hurled boats into buildings, and toppled trees and trucks, as it smashed into the Florida Panhandle, a 200-mile stretch in the north-west of the state.

You can help people affected by Hurricane Michael by visiting redcross.org today. And then there was the life-threatening storm surge to deal with.

Michael is now moving northwards at 12mph.

Michael, which Scott called "monstrous", made landfall with wind speeds that were almost the highest possible for a Category 4 - 155 miles per hour.

"Weakening is expected after landfall as Michael moves across the south-eastern United States", the NHC added.

Rick Scott said the storm could be the worst the Florida Panhandle has seen in 100 years.

Gulf Power, which provides electricity in hard-hit Bay County, anticipates people in the impacted areas could be without power for weeks as the utility rebuilds parts of its system.

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NWS offices in Jackson and New Orleans/Baton Rouge issued 11 tornado warnings for areas that would not experience an actual tornado but would experience extreme wind speeds commonly associated with tornadoes.

Stunning before-and-after footage has emerged of Mexico Beach, Florida, which was hammered by Hurricane Michael. Forecasters said it would unleash damaging wind and rain all the way into the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence's epic flooding.

As of 11 a.m. EDT, Michael was centred about 35 miles (60 kilometres) south of Charlotte, North Carolina, with winds of 50 mph (85 kph).

Adrian Mahangos hopes he is one of the lucky ones.

Soon enough, Mexico Beach's emerald waters and sugar-sand beaches were covered in a dark sea of debris, Mulligan said.

Mr Mahangos is not going anywhere.

In Panama City, 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Mexico Beach, buildings were crushed and boats were scattered around.

"Where that becomes a factor is with the evacuation of some of the local populations", he said.

Storm chaser Chris, from SS Storm Chasers told Tim Dower he has been following storms for years and it was unlike anything he's ever seen.

Those that remain will be facing a frightening ordeal.

Michael's barometric pressure at landfall was 919 millibars, by that measurement the third-strongest hurricane to hit the US on record, trailing on the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969.

The hurricane earlier reportedly killed 13 people as it passed through Central America: six in Honduras, four in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador. Up to a foot of rainfall was forecast for some areas. On Thursday, oil producers were checking production platforms and beginning to return crews to more than 90 offshore facilities that had been evacuated.

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