Hurricane Michael forecast: What to expect and when

Hurricane Michael takes aim at 300-mile Gulf Coast target

So many families have lost everything.

"But the full extent of the damage was only slowly becoming clear, with some of the worst areas hard to reach".

One of the hardest-hit spots was Mexico Beach, where Michael crashed ashore Wednesday as a Category 4 monster with 155 miles per hour (250 kph) winds.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted he was hearing "stunning" reports of damage, including that "Mexico Beach is gone" and the "damage in Panama City is catastrophic".

More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were ordered or urged to clear out as Michael closed in.

Except for the emergency-911 system, authorities in Bay County, the epicenter of the disaster, were virtually without telephone or internet service until late in the day on Friday, making communications internally and with the public hard. It quickly bloomed from a "disturbance" with winds of 30 miles per hour on Saturday afternoon into a fearsome storm with gusts over 170 miles per hour. That home is now smashed, with no sign of the woman. Scott, meanwhile, said 20 people were rescued uninjured from Mexico Beach overnight.

"Don't think that you can ride this out if you're in a low-lying area", Nelson said on CNN.

Forecasters said rainfall could reach up to a foot (30 centimeters), and the life-threatening storm surge could swell to 14 feet (4 meters).

"The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline". "People will just pack up and leave".

In his letter posted on the base's website, Laidlaw says crews need to clear trees from roads, fix power lines and "assess the structural integrity of our buildings" before anyone returns.

"It's OK if you want to live on the coast or on top of a mountain that sees wildfires or whatever, but you have to build to a higher standard", he said. Plenty of water. I made sure we've got clean clothes.

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Four people in Florida, a child in Georgia and a man in North Carolina also died.

The number of dead was expected to rise, but authorities scrapped plans for setting up a temporary morgue, indicating they had yet to see signs of mass casualties from the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S.in almost 50 years.

"Luckily we did not get a surge", Tenbrunson said of his home. "It's not the Mexico Beach we know".

It could be weeks before power is restored to the most damaged parts of Florida, such as Panama City. Roofs had been peeled off and carried away. Further inland, about half the homes were reduced to piles of wood and siding.

Hundreds of residents were rescued Thursday from cars, apartments and homes flooded by rushing water.

"I am not seeing the level of traffic on the roadways that I would expect when we've called for the evacuation of 75 per cent of this county", Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said. He imposed a curfew and asked for 50 members of the National Guard for protection.

The hurricane damaged hospitals and nursing homes in Panama City, and officials worked to evacuate hundreds of patients.

The front wall of a nearby grocery store was completely blown out. One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit her in the head.

As the storm charged north, it spun off possible tornadoes and downed power lines and trees in Georgia.

So when meteorologists saw the amount of wind shear surrounding Tropical Storm Michael this past weekend, they thought it would follow the usual model.

In South Carolina Thursday, flooding was reported on Interstate 26 and the Interstate 126 interchange on the northwest side of Columbia, according to The Weather Channel. Power outages were concentrated in central North Carolina's Piedmont region, where motorists had to be rescued Thursday from cars trapped by high water.

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