Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Research | By Francis Brooks

Mexico Beach 'wiped out' by Hurricane Michael

Mexico Beach 'wiped out' by Hurricane Michael

Michael charged ashore on Wednesday near the small Florida Panhandle town of Mexico Beach as one of the most powerful storms in USA history, with top sustained winds of 155 miles per hour (250 km per hour).

Michael made landfall at about 1:40 p.m. Wednesday near desolate Mexico Beach, Florida.

President Donald Trump has been in touch with state governors and said a federal emergency team is standing by and ready to help with storm recovery.

The storm has already killed a man in Florida and a girl in Georgia.

They also said that the hurricane could apply some pressure to reinsurers, although given the broad use of retrocession, capital markets protection and also the extremely well-capitalised nature of the market right now, this does not seem that likely to pressure anyone but the weakest and most catastrophe exposed of reinsurance firms.

The storm's rapid intensification gave emergency officials and residents little time to prepare. Long urged residents in the Carolinas to heed warnings and take the tropical storm seriously.

North and SC are both still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which left dozens dead and caused billions of dollars in damage last month. Tornadoes, risky winds and more flooding are possible in numerous same areas still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

Images from there showed swaths of shattered debris where houses once stood and structures inundated up to their rooftops; the streets of Panama City, farther west, were blocked by downed tree limbs and impossible tangles of power lines.

"We had houses that were on one side of the street and now they're on the other", said Mayor Bo Patterson, estimating that 1,000 homes were completely or partially destroyed in his town of 3,500 people.

A stronger hurricane had not hit the Panhandle in 167 years of record-keeping.

The storm has now claimed the lives of 11 people across Florida, North Carolina and Georgia.

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The coastal city of Apalachicola reported a storm surge of almost 8ft (2.5m).

Florida state emergency officials say they've done an initial search of 80 percent of the area affected by Hurricane Michael, and found no sign of widespread deaths.

The category four storm - the second-highest on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale - made landfall near Mexico Beach in Florida and was just shy of a rare category five when it came ashore.

The hurricane tore through Florida with powerful winds, uprooting trees, shredding roofs and turning over cars.

A storm surge warning for the Gulf coast of Florida has been discontinued and a tropical storm warning is no longer in effect along the Georgia and Florida coast south of Altamaha.

"The National Hurricane Center reported maximum sustained winds near 150 miles per hour with the potential to bring unsafe storm surge and heavy rains to the Florida panhandle area". The storm had top sustained winds of 112 km/h and was moving to the northeast at 27 km/h.

Phone service to the most damaged areas was down, leaving survivors no way to contact anxious relatives. The hospital said it is running off of generators and patients have been moved to safe areas of the facility. Storm surge is worse now than it was 100 years ago, thanks to the rise in sea levels.

Conditions remain precarious in hard hit areas, especially Mexico Beach, Florida, where Michael reduced buildings to rubble and snapped trees in half.

"You can't make sense of it, but what you do is you take the situation, and what we have to make certain that our kids know is that we must be resilient", Smith said. Sweet died after a tree fell on a home near Greensboro.

It was the strongest to hit the continental U.S. since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

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