The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season apparently has not yet run out of “Greatest Hits” to release, in a negative, calamitous way. August 31 through early September saw the Carolinas and its environs be hammered by Hurricane Florence from Cape Verde, causing storm surges that flooded areas along the coast and major river systems in North Carolina, and isolated the city of Wilmington from the rest of the mainland for some time. The weather disturbances that followed Florence were tropical storms that did little. But Hurricane Michael is a different matter. It made landfall around the Florida panhandle this week, and the results were expectedly devastating.
USA Today reports that Hurricane Michael is living up to weather predictions in terms of intensity when it barreled ashore close to Mexico Beach in Florida this Wednesday, October 10. Somewhat close in duration from September’s visit by Hurricane Florence, Michael made such an impact upon its arrival in the US that it is already being described as one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the country, and indeed the most powerful to ever make landfall in the Florida panhandle. Recorded wind speeds of 155 mph ranks it the sixth-strongest US-hitting hurricane in that category.
It is no surprised therefore that lives were lost to Hurricane Michael. One was a child casualty in Seminole County, reported killed by an uprooted tree that fell on a home early morning of Thursday, October 11. A similar fate befell the other victim in Wednesday, this time a man from Greensboro. As Michael passed Florida and rages across Georgia, electricity was cut to around half a million residences and businesses in both states and also nearby Alabama for possibly weeks. This is something that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is stating would only increase as the storm travels inland.
President Donald Trump described Hurricane Michael as a “a tough wind storm” during a late-night Fox News interview regarding the ongoing crisis. “So, to a certain extent, we don’t know (the full scope) because it’s so dark and all the electric is out. But we hear there’s a lot of damage,” remarked Trump on the situation reports from Florida. “And it’s a tremendous wind damage. Tremendous, a lot of things are blown over. Hopefully not houses with people in them.”
And the nightmare is not over. Already the path of Hurricane Michael is being turned north and east, 30 miles west of Augusta, Georgia. By Thursday night it is expected to cross into South Carolina, recently affected by Hurricane Florence, before returning to the Mid-Atlantic coast on Friday, October 12.
Image: The Globe and Mail