Hurricane Michael weakened to a Category 1 storm late Wednesday as it moved across south-central Georgia with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.
Strong winds and rain did hit in Columbia County, but some people living in Lake City told News4Jax they feel like they lucked out, considering the damage from Michael could have been worse. Eastern time. The US Energy Information Administration said about 388,000 customers in Florida, 46,000 customers in Georgia, and 45,000 customers in Alabama were in the dark as the storm moved inland. "We thought the windows were going to break at any time", Beu said.
The Cooter Stew Cafe starts taking water in the town of Saint Marks as Hurricane Michael pushes the storm surge up the Wakulla and Saint Marks Rivers which come together here on October 10, 2018 in Saint Marks, Florida.
- Lingering Tropical Storm Leslie became a hurricane again late Tuesday and remained a minimal hurricane early Wednesday with maximum winds of 75 miles per hour. "Tropical storm-force winds continue over central and southern Georgia, and are spreading across the coast of southeastern Georgia", the Miami-based weather forecaster said.
Panama City is also a mess of downed trees, and damaged buildings - as is likely the case throughout much of the surrounding areas in the Florida Panhandle. Soon enough, Mexico Beach's emerald waters and white sugar-sand beaches were covered in a dark sea of splintered debris, she said. More than 375,000 people had been urged or ordered to evacuate, but emergency authorities lamented that many people ignored the warnings and seemed to think they could ride it out.
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After the space station passed over the storm, Auñón-Chancellor shared a photograph of the storm's eye.
Residents and tourists were told to flee low-lying areas in at least 22 counties along the shore in Florida's Panhandle and adjacent Big Bend region.
Rick Scott, the Florida governor, said on Twitter: "The time to evacuate has come and gone".
But many people living in counties farther east in North Central Florida were spared. The planet has warmed significantly over the past several decades, causing changes in the environment.
Past year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Harvey, which caused a record-equaling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.
The deadliest hurricane on record cost the lives of about 20,000 people, with most of the damage and fatalities occurring in Barbados and surrounding islands.
But Kottlowski noted that meteorologists are still analyzing Hurricane Michael, and it's possible that it will be retroactively upgraded to Category 5 status based on wind speeds.