Hurricane Michael upgraded to category 4 before making landfall in the Panhandle yesterday. Hundreds of thousands of people are without power, and dangerous storm pushes ever inland.
The storm, which was originally thought to be landing at category 3, has been much more dangerous than initially thought. While it’s still early, the storm is poised to cause massive destruction in the Southeast.
Hurricane Michael Upgraded to Category 4
As the storm rampages across the Southeast, those in its path are urged to take caution. Follow the advice of local authorities, and, if ordered to evacuate, do so. Avoid fast-moving water, as it can sweep you or your vehicle away. Try to keep a radio and batteries to power it on hand so you can listen for weather updates.
Additionally, try to keep cell phone calls to a minimum unless you have an emergency. Use text messages for non-critical situations: phone lines will likely be overtaxed by the time the storm reaches you.
Early Impact of Hurricane Michael
As the storm continues further inland today, expect more canceled flights and close roads in the Southeast. Emergency services are doing their best to respond to the storm, but you should still exercise caution.
South Carolina and North Carolina are bracing for the storm as it nears, given that the region just weathered Hurricane Florence. Where the soil is saturated, risk of further flooding is quite high. Additionally, the massive windspeed of Michael makes it likely to drop power lines and cause power outages as it continues its path.
Michael is projected to sweep up through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, clipping Southern Virginia. It will then likely head back out to sea where it will dissipate gradually. The storm is moving so rapidly that is has been hard to predict.
The timing of this storm is somewhat unusual: it’s atypical for a storm this powerful to make landfall in the mainland US in October. In fact, Michael is the strongest hurricane to hit the mainland US in 50 years. Upon making landfall it had windspeeds of more than 150 miles per hour.
According to meteorologists, the storm was “supercharged” by unusually warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico. This indicates that the super-powered storm is likely to blame on global warming. Recent reports have shown that the governments of the world have roughly 12 years to address global warming before it becomes an irreversible catastrophe.