florida hurricanes

Associated Press

Mary Frances Parrish is expecting to be without electricity for several weeks, or roughly the same time the terminally ill son she's caring for is expected to live.

Associated Press

It was once argued that the trees would help save Florida's Panhandle from the fury of a hurricane, as the acres of forests in the region would provide a natural barrier to savage winds that accompany the deadly storms.

It's part of the reason that tighter building codes — mandatory in places such as South Florida — were not put in place for most of this region until just 11 years ago.

And it may be a painful lesson for area residents now that Hurricane Michael has ravaged the region, leaving sustained damage from the coast inland all the way to the Georgia border.

Associated Press

Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long is calling the damage left by Hurricane Michael some of the worst he's ever seen.

Long toured several towns in Florida's Panhandle on Sunday with Gov. Rick Scott. Long said afterward the storm damage will require officials to help meet housing needs of displaced residents for the next several months.

Long previously said that he has expected the death toll to rise due to the deadly storm. But both he and Scott sidestepped questions on whether they anticipate more deaths to be announced in the days ahead.

Analysts are estimating that Hurricane Michael has caused billions of dollars of damage and will create a substantial loss for insurers, but the industry is expected to cope — once again avoiding the kind of meltdown that Florida saw in the 1990s, after Hurricane Andrew.

Relief supplies and critical life-saving equipment and personnel are heading into areas of Florida's Panhandle ravaged by Hurricane Michael, but officials say the severity of the storm's devastation is limiting their ability to get into the most heavily damaged areas.

Pedro Portal pportal@miamiherald.com

Hurricane Michael approached Florida with ferocious speed this week, hitting the Panhandle as a Category 4 hurricane and leaving behind a trail of catastrophic damage. The storm went from a depression to a serious storm in less than a week.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Michael was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the continental U.S. since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

At least 11 people have died from Hurricane Michael, which slammed into Florida's Panhandle with 155-mph winds on Wednesday. The storm hacked a trail of catastrophic destruction in Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia before finally heading back out over water.

Five deaths were reported in Virginia, in addition to four in Florida, one in Georgia and one in North Carolina.

A public health state of emergency has been declared in Florida after Hurricane Michael. Medical personnel have been deployed at the national level to respond. A team of seven people from the Orange County Health Department has been sent to help with recovery efforts after Hurricane Michael.

Updated at 4:55 a.m. ET

Tropical Storm Michael rampaged through South Carolina, North Carolina and finally southeastern Virginia on Thursday, before heading for the Atlantic Ocean.

The storm's traveling speed accelerated to 29 mph by evening, according to the National Hurricane Center, with winds of 65 mph.

Fast, Furious: How Michael Grew Into A 155 MPH Monster

Oct 11, 2018

Moist air, warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, and ideal wind patterns supercharged Hurricane Michael in the hours before it smacked Florida's Panhandle.

Food Bank Preps For Hurricane Michael

Oct 11, 2018

Hurricane Michael struck Florida’s panhandle with Category Four strength. The Second Harvest of Central Florida is prepping nearly 6,000 boxes to send in aid impacted areas.

Florida Shifts To Search And Rescue After Michael

Oct 10, 2018
NASA via AP

At least 388,000 utility customers lost power as Hurricane Michael crashed ashore --- with potentially catastrophic winds of 155 mph --- between Panama City and St. Vincent Island, before speeding north into Alabama and Georgia on Wednesday.

Time To 'Hunker Down' As Category 4 Michael Nears

Oct 10, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday morning that time has run out for people in coastal areas who debated whether to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Michael, as the powerful Category 4 storm was poised to cause massive damage in the Panhandle.

“It’s too late to get out,” Scott said during an appearance on the Weather Channel. “If you’re in a coastal community, you’ve got to hunker down. You’ve got to do everything you can to keep your family safe.”

As Hurricane Michael Bears Down, Many Along Gulf Coast Remain In Harm's Way

Oct 10, 2018
Emily Mahoney Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

PANACEA -- The muggy air hung heavy over the small Gulf Coast town of Panacea on Tuesday as Hurricane Michael churned toward the Florida Panhandle. Grey clouds glided quickly across the sky over the main street’s shuddered seafood shacks.

Storm surges, combined with the new moon tide, were expected to rise in this area anywhere from nine to 13 feet. By Tuesday afternoon, sheriff’s deputies had already knocked on doors twice. The first time, it was to urge people to leave. The second: taking down the information and next-of-kin of those who remained — of which there are many.

Hurricane Michael has become the season’s second major hurricane. The latest flight from the hurricane hunters have revealed that top winds have increased to 120 mph.

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