A Look at Why Hurricane Michael Had a Remarkable, Devastating Run

A Look at Why Hurricane Michael Had a Remarkable, Devastating Run

"Mexico Beach is devastated", Florida Governor Rick Scott said of the town where Michael made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday.

Richard Fausset, and Atlanta-based reporter for The New York Times, posted a photo of a group of people huddling in a storage closet at his hotel in Panama City.

Six people are dead in the storm's path, and authorities fear the toll could climb higher as search-and-rescue efforts continue.

At least four deaths from the storm have been confirmed in Florida, five in Virginia, one in Georgia and three in North Carolina.

Downgraded to a tropical storm early on Thursday over south-central Georgia, it continued to weaken but was still menacing the south east with heavy rain, blustery winds and possible spin-off tornadoes.

While many cities along the Florida Panhandle enjoy the protection of various channel, barrier and tied islands, which can help stifle the impact of storm surge on the mainland, Mexico Beach sits between Crooked Island and the St. Joseph Peninsula, directly on the water.

- 47 rescued from hard-hit areas along Florida's coastline, and 20 people in flooded neighbourhoods in North Carolina.

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"People have no idea how hard Hurricane Michael has hit the great state of Georgia", Trump tweeted.

A Mexico Beach resident who rode out the hurricane described the impact of the storm surge to CNN.

"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.

"There's nothing left here anymore", he said of the town. All the stores, all the restaurants, everything. "I just need to know". Last year, they welcomed children who were displaced by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Michael ripped apart beach homes and boats, Mulligan said.

"We didn't have anything", said Ruth Corley, a spokeswoman for the Bay County Sheriff's Department.

"We do not yet have a timeline for returning to school because we have not been able to complete a damage assessment on our buildings let alone make plans for repairs". Even in areas that have been declared safe, officials are warning residents to drive only in the daytime, when they can see downed power lines and other hazards. In Paulding County, Georgia, a road was left sliced in two.

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"Quite honestly, it's a risky area to go back into", he said. Homes were split open by fallen trees.

The full extent of Michael's fury was only slowly becoming clear, with some of the hardest-hit areas difficult to reach because of roads blocked by debris or water.

Mishelle McPherson and her ex-husband searched for a friend's elderly mother who thought she would be OK in her small cinderblock house just 150 yards (meters) from the Gulf. Scientists say global warming is responsible for more intense and more frequent extreme weather, such as storms, droughts, floods and fires, and Michael was fueled by abnormal water temperatures in the Gulf - 4-to-5 degrees above the historic norm for this time of year.

Even before landfall, the hurricane disrupted energy operations in the Gulf, cutting crude oil production by more than 40 percent and natural gas output by almost one-third as offshore platforms were evacuated before the storm hit.

With the storm next entering the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico, which has warm water and favourable atmospheric conditions, "there is a real possibility that Michael will strengthen to a major hurricane before landfall", said Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the Miami-based storm forecasting hub. State and local officials previously said a man in the state was killed Thursday when a tree fell on his vehicle in Iredell County.

"We brought all four of them and their cat to my condo", she said. "We've got to figure something out".

Human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere create an energy imbalance, with more than 90% of remaining heat trapped by the gases going into the oceans, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. "We are still getting down there", the governor added. Numerous 600 families who live there had followed orders to pack what they could in a single suitcase as they were evacuated ahead of the storm.

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