Hurricane Michael is the 3rd strongest storm in recorded history to make landfall in the USA. Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida on the afternoon of Wednesday 10th October 2018 as a category four storm with 155mph (250km/h) winds in the state’s Panhandle region.
Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida. Michael was so powerful as it swept into Florida that it remained a hurricane as it moved further inland. This is uncommon as hurricanes rapidly lose energy when they make landfall.
Unusually warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico turbo-charged the storm from a tropical depression on Sunday. Only on Tuesday it was a category two hurricane but by Wednesday morning it had reached borderline category five, the highest level.
Preparation and Mitigation
Residents filled sandbags, boarded-up homes and secured boats.
More than 370,000 people in Florida were ordered to evacuate and move to higher ground.
Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for residents of barrier islands, mobile homes and low-lying coastal areas in Gulf, Wakulla and Bay counties.
What were the effects of Hurricane Michael?
Six people were killed in the USA as the result of the storm.
The coastal city of Apalachicola reported a storm surge of nearly 8ft (2.5m).
Wind speeds reached 155mph, just 5mph below a category 5 status hurricane.
There were so many downed power lines and trees that it was almost impossible to get through the city of Apalachicola.
Homes were submerged in water, and there was severe damage to buildings in the Panama City area.
Power to a quarter-million homes and businesses was cut off.
The damage is expected to total between $2 billion and $4.5 billion, according to CoreLogic. This is less than Hurricane Florence which caused $38 billion. The reason why the estimated damage is likely to be less for Hurricane Michael is that the storm is moving much quicker than Hurricane Florence resulting in less flooding.
What were the short-term responses to Hurricane Michael?
More than 370,000 people in Florida were ordered to evacuate but officials believe many ignored the warning.
President Donald Trump made a disaster declaration for Florida that allows the resources of the federal emergency management agency (Fema) to be deployed.
States of emergency were declared in all or parts of Florida, Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina.
Florida Governor Rick Scott waived road tolls to encourage evacuations and activated 3,500 National Guard troops.
Schools and state offices in the area remained shut for the week following the storm.
What were the long-term responses to Hurricane Michael?
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