Watch Hurricane Michael make landfall on Florida webcams

Watch Hurricane Michael make landfall on Florida webcams

Hurricane Michael roared ashore in Florida on Wednesday, flooding homes and streets and toppling trees and power lines in the Gulf of Mexico beachfront town where it made landfall as a raging Category 4 storm.

Across the bay in Panama City Beach, a resort city on the Gulf of Mexico known for its white-sand beach and amusement parks, winds of about 100 miles per hour furiously whipped the trees in the early afternoon and pulled apart homes.

A man was killed by a falling tree in Tallahassee.

Officials have not yet confirmed the identity of the man.

A tornado watch is in effect for much of northern Florida and south and central Georgia until 2am local time (7am BST).

Michael began dashing homes into pieces and flooding neighborhoods shortly after crossing near Mexico Beach as a Category 4 storm. By 8pm, it was down to a category 1.

"We are catching some hell", said Timothy Thomas, who rode out the storm with his wife in their second-floor apartment in Panama City Beach.

Michael battered the shoreline with sideways rain, powerful gusts and crashing waves, swamping streets and docks, flattening trees, stripped away leaves, shredding awnings and peeling away shingles. Cloud water releases a burst of heat, and hurricanes love heat.

Storm Team 4 meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts said Wednesday that Michael would have a bit more of an impact on the area than it appeared on Tuesday, though a cold front heading across the USA would still, in fact, fend off the worst.

Television news footage earlier in the day showed floodwaters up to the roofs of many homes in Mexico Beach. "It's like a nightmare". We thought the windows were going to break at any time.

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After landfall in Florida, Michael's strong winds and heavy rains will thrash Georgia and the Carolinas next, including areas that got a soaking last month from Hurricane Florence.

More than 40 percent of daily crude oil production and more than one-third of natural gas output was lost from offshore US Gulf of Mexico wells on Wednesday because of platform evacuations and shut-ins caused by Michael.

Residents in Panama City, Florida are boarding up coastal properties as Hurricane Michael approaches with increased intensity. Emergency managers say they don't know how many left the area, but there were about 6000 people in 80 shelters in five states, including almost 1200 who are still in shelters following Hurricane Florence.

After the hurricane made landfall, Florida Governor Rick Scott urged those who didn't evacuate to stay in place.

Based on wind speed, it was the fourth-strongest, behind Andrew in 1992, Camille, and the biggest one of all, an unnamed 1935 Labor Day storm that had winds of 296kph. As it moved further inland, its crushing force subsided.

He added: "Along our coast, communities are going to see unimaginable devastation".

"I wanted to let you guys know exactly what is going on", she said, speaking about a curfew that had been instituted in nearby Bay County because of concerns about looting from the outages.

"I'm just praying for them and, as soon as this passes, we will be out there doing everything we can to rescue everybody... We will take care of each other".

"Storm surge estimates are anywhere between nine and 14 feet".

Measured by barometric pressure, Michael ranks as the third-most-intense storm on record to make landfall in the USA, according to the National Weather Service. Coupled with that you have over 145 miles per hour winds.

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