The latest update from the NHC cites still Category 3 sustained winds and at this time hurricane Michael is moving towards Georgia, which is unusual but due to the late intensification and fast movement of the storm not entirely unexpected. The only other hurricane that landed with comparable force this late in the year was Hurricane Hazel in 1954, but Michael was much stronger when it came ashore, Mr. Henson said.
"We've been very cautious with sending our first responders out right now", she said, after Michaelmade landfall as a raging Category 4 hurricane that toppled trees and power lines.
Damage in Panama City was so extensive that broken and uprooted trees and downed power lines lay almost everywhere.
A storm surge warning from the National Hurricane Center was in place from Panama City Florida to Keaton Beach Florida. Only Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969 and the so-called Labor Day hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys were more intense. Based on wind speed, it was the fourth-strongest, behind the Labor Day storm (184 miles per hour, or 296 kph), Camille and Andrew in 1992.
On the forecast track, the eye of Michael is expected to move ashore over the Florida Panhandle later today near Panama City, move northeastward across the southeastern US tonight and Thursday, and then move off the Mid-Atlantic coast away from the USA on Friday. She said she could smell the pine from snapped tree branches.
Helen Neal, 88, and her husband, J.W. Neal, 87, preferred to take their chances in a hotel rather than in their two-story beachfront house about a mile away in Panama City.
The eye of Hurricane Michael began to move through southwest Georgia on Wednesday evening - the first major hurricane to reach the state since the 19th century, according to local reports.
For insurance-linked security (ILS) and catastrophe bond interests though, this initial estimate perhaps will give some comfort that the impacts to the sector will not be particularly significant, compared to a similarly severe storm impacting an area of Florida with higher levels of property density and exposure.
The evacuation order remains in effect until further notice.
Governor Rick Scott said there was a "lot of roof damage" in the storm's path.
The NWS said it had found no record of any previous Category 4 hurricanes that made landfall in the Panhandle or the "Big Bend" coastal region. It is the fourth strongest on record, and nothing this ferocious has ever hit the Panhandle.
Hurricane Michael blasted parts of Florida's Gulf coast with 155mph winds last night, threatening devastation in flood-prone communities and posing a critical pre-election test for the state's political leaders.
President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for all of Florida on Wednesday.
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The most recent October landfalling hurricane in the Florida Panhandle was Hurricane Opal - a Category 3 storm in 1995. However, they warned the amount and location of surge remains somewhat uncertain depending on the storm's exact path.
Saocom-1A has an L-band payload created to study soil moisture for agriculture, disaster monitoring and scientific research. If anything goes wrong during the launch and landing, there is a risk of explosion.
On his first global trip as president, Mr Trump visited Saudi Arabia and announced $US110 billion in proposed arms sales. On his first worldwide trip as president, Trump visited Saudi Arabia and announced $110 billion in proposed arms sales.
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