Publicado: Vie, Octubre 12, 2018
Ciencia | Por Aurelio Ontiveros

Death Toll Rises As Michael Moves Along US Coast

Death Toll Rises As Michael Moves Along US Coast

Horrific before and after photos have captured the utter devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael after it crashed into several small towns on the Florida Panhandle with near-record force.

Supercharged by abnormally warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle with terrifying winds of more than 249 km/h Wednesday, splintering homes and submerging neighbourhoods before continuing its march inland. It also was an October icon - the strongest continental United States hurricane to make an October landfall based on maximum sustained winds at 155 miles per hour.

Gen, Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said some Florida residents may have been taken by surprise by the rapid escalation of the storm. A man in Greensboro, Florida, was killed when a tree fell on his house, a spokesperson for the Gadsden County sheriff said. It's left hundreds of thousands of people without power and an untold number of people homeless. It's expected to weaken to a tropical storm by Thursday morning and move off into the Atlantic Ocean by early Friday. "The historical record, going back to 1851, finds no Category-4 hurricane ever hitting the Florida Panhandle".

Storm flooding leveled off along the Gulf Coast as of 11 p.m. ET, the National Hurricane Center said.

"It really started as a tropical storm, and then it went to Category 1, then it was Category 2 and before you know it, it was Category 4", O'Shaughnessy said.

About 162,000 homes and business customers were already without power around mid-afternoon in Florida, Georgia and Alabama, utility companies said.

The St. Marks River overflows into the city of St. Marks, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.

The hurricane, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to strike the US mainland, left at least two people dead.

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Residents of Georgia and Alabama have been hit with power blackouts after the hurricane crossed into the southeastern part of the states. Soon enough, Mexico Beach's emerald waters and sugar-sand beaches were covered in a dark sea of debris, she said.

At 4pm (local time) radar showed the eye of the storm about to pass over Interstate 10 in Florida's Panhandle.

Hurricane Michael is one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the US, and the proof is strewn across miles of Florida's coastline: Roofs and awnings peeled from buildings, pieces of homes scattered amid snapped trees and downed power lines, chunks of beaches washed away.

See the latest from the Capital Weather Gang here and track the storm's path here.

Meteorologists use another measure to evaluate hurricane intensity: central pressure.

It was a category two hurricane by Tuesday, and a borderline category five on Wednesday morning, packing 155mph winds.

Michael was a monster storm by wind speed around the time it made landfall.

By early Thursday, the ferocious storm's winds had slowed to 50 miles per hour as it crossed Georgia. The storm had top sustained winds of 96 kph and was moving to the northeast at 32 kph. With the flash flood watch we will need to be on the lookout for flood-prone areas to see rapidly rising water.

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