UPDATE: Deadly Hurricane Michael devastates Florida Panhandle before moving inland

1 week 5 hours 57 minutes ago Wednesday, October 10 2018 Oct 10, 2018 Wednesday, October 10, 2018 11:11:00 AM CDT October 10, 2018 in Top Stories
By: Jason Hanna and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

(CNN) -- At least one person is dead and hundreds of thousands of homes are without power as Hurricane Michael moves inland from Florida to Georgia.

Michael made landfall Wednesday around 2 p.m. ET as a Category 4 storm near Mexico Beach, Florida. The strongest storm to hit the continental US since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Michael dashed homes into pieces, swallowed marinas and left piles of rubble where shopping centers once stood.

Now a Category 1 storm with winds up to 90 mph, the storm is moving across southwestern Georgia about about 17 mph near Albany. Meanwhile, flooding continues along the Gulf Coast, where downed trees and utility polls are making precarious rescue efforts even harder.

Key developments
• A man died after a tree fell on a home near Greensboro, Florida, the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office said.

• Nine Florida counties have enacted curfews.

• More than 500,000 customers are without power in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

• Bay County is under a mandatory boil water notice.

• A tornado watch is in effect for much of northern Florida and south and central Georgia until 2 a.m. ET Thursday.

• Arrests have been made after reports of looting in Bay County, Florida, Congressman Neal Dunn said.

Scenes of devastation
Mexico Beach resident Patricia Mulligan said the concrete building she lives in shook and vibrated as the storm's center crossed nearby.

When she dared to look outside, Mexico Beach's emerald waters and white sugar-sand beaches were covered in a dark sea of splintered debris, she said. Roofs were torn off homes and the marina was gone. Water levels approached the tops of palm trees.

The devastation reminded her of what she witnessed in 1992 when Andrew hit. And she estimated that it would take the same amount of time to fix the damage -- possibly months or even a year.

"We didn't think it was going to be this bad," she told CNN.

After making landfall near Mexico Beach around 2 p.m. ET, the eye of Michael moved inland over the Florida Panhandle east of Panama City.

Wind gusts blew out windows in homes and office buildings, including the First Federal Bank.

Stores and entire shopping centers that were turned into piles of rubble. Other buildings were stripped of their walls and roofs or ripped apart by downed trees and power lines.

Medical Sacred Heart lost its windows and sustained damage to its roof and exterior walls. The hospital said it is running off of generators and patients have been moved to safe areas of the facility.

Jason Gunderson of the Cajun Navy said flooding and downed power lines made most streets impassible. Further hindering rescue efforts were trees that had crashed into homes. In Lynn Haven, north of Panama City, he described finding one woman curled up in a fetal position in a garage with a tree over her head -- a "very dangerous, sketchy situation," he said.

"It's a sight to see, and very sad. Very horrible," Gunderson said.

Brandon and Sydni Troupe were preparing for the grand opening this weekend of their new Panama City business when Michael hit.

They said they spent the past year renovating a house with new floors, walls and a paint job. They intended to sell children's toys and host family-friendly events, a need they saw in the community. Now, a gigantic tree is lying through their store and they're not sure what to do next.

"I still can't believe it. My mind is still trying to process." Brandon Troupe said.

Across the bay in Panama City Beach, a resort city on the Gulf of Mexico known for its white-sand beach and amusement parks, winds of about 100 mph furiously whipped the trees in the early afternoon and pulled apart homes.

Rain just one of several threats
A hurricane warning remains in place from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida.

Meanwhile, tropical storm warnings were in effect for parts of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Storm surge warnings were in place along the Florida and Alabama coasts.

Up to 12 inches of rain could fall in Florida's Panhandle and Big Bend areas, as well as southeastern Alabama and southern Georgia.

Some parts of the Carolinas and southern Virginia, recently deluged by Hurricane Florence, could see up to 6 inches, the hurricane center said.

Effect of climate change
Michael's strength may reflect the effect of climate change on storms. The planet has warmed significantly over the past several decades, causing changes in the environment.

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 Association. There's evidence of higher sea surface temperature and atmospheric moisture, experts say.

While we might not get more storms in a warmer climate, most studies show storms will get stronger and produce more rain. Storm surge is worse now than it was 100 years ago, thanks to the rise in sea levels.

According to Climate Central, a scientific research organization, the coming decades are expected to bring hurricanes that intensify more rapidly, should there be no change in the rate of greenhouse gas emissions.

More News

Grid
List
CALLAWAY COUNTY - One person was killed in a helicopter crash east of Fulton, according to the Callaway County Sheriff's... More >>
10 minutes ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 4:58:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
PANAMA CITY, Fla. - A former Missouri woman, now living in Florida's panhandle, said Wednesday she is experiencing the "catastrophic"... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:41:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A white woman has been fired after video emerged of her confronting and blocking the entry of a... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:23:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Robert Pinhero created a GoFundMe page and is recruiting drivers to help get voters without a car... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
Cole County – From oil-dripping trucks to ones without seatbelts, Cole County Fire District officials say there's a pressing need... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 2:38:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
KINGDOM CITY - Eight people were arrested after the Callaway County Sherrif's Office found 3.5 pounds of methamphetamine, about one... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 2:23:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- At least 92 people in 29 states have been infected with a strain of multidrug-resistant salmonella after coming... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 1:11:43 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — In ads and speeches, Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is pounding Missouri voters with a single... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 12:19:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A multi-vehicle crash sent one man to the hospital with injuries right before the Wednesday morning commute.... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 11:42:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The man prosecutors accused of killing Lincoln University student Charon Session pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning. About... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 10:54:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA (AP) — The University of Missouri had to toss out giving its Nobel Prize winning scientist a parking space... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 10:24:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — No winning lottery ticket was sold for the latest Mega Millions drawing, meaning the estimated... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 10:14:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is looking for a suspect after an armed robbery at a convenience store in... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 9:32:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- A new mobile pantry location through The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri will open Wednesday afternoon providing... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 6:27:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
LADDONIA—The Community R-6 School District is the second district to get new beef options added to its school menu. The... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 6:13:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department investigated a shots heard call on Tuesday evening. The incident happened at the... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 10:03:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Neighborhood Watch recently secured funding for next year. The Columbia City Council awarded them this money... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 8:17:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Burrell Behavioral Health introduced a medicine-first approach to its facilities in Missouri’s central region to help clients with... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 6:40:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 64°
6pm 55°
7pm 52°
8pm 49°
9pm 47°