Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle with terrifying winds of 155 mph Wednesday, splintering homes and submerging neighborhoods before continuing its destructive charge inland across the Southeast. It was the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental United States in nearly 50 years and at least one death was reported during its passage. Follow Breitbart News for updates on the storm’s progress and stories from the people in its path.
Live Wire Highlights:
• National Weather Service in Tallahassee issues its first-ever Extreme Wind Warning
• One person has died due to the storm
• Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum takes shot at “partisan” President Trump on MSNBC
• Hurricane Michael makes landfall near Panama City Beach with wind speeds just below Category 5 threshold
• It is the first Category 4 hurricane in recorded history to make landfall in Florida’s Panhandle
• Over 30,000 people lost power in Tallahassee
• Michael weakens to a tropical storm as it moves into Georgia and Alabama
All times eastern.
12:50 AM —
11:35 PM — Hurricane Michael makes its way over Fayetteville, Georgia.
11:25 PM — Forecasters say Michael is weakening but still a hurricane with 75-mph (120-kph) winds as it crosses central Georgia, per the Associated Press.
The National Hurricane Center said Michael was located at 11 p.m. EDT Wednesday about 45 miles (70 kilometers) south-southwest of Macon, Georgia. The low-level Category 1 hurricane was picking up speed and moving to the northeast at 20 mph.
The Miami-based hurricane center says Michael will move across Georgia through the night and early Thursday morning. It is expected to then cross the Carolinas and move off the Mid-Atlantic coast by early Friday.
Forecasters say Michael is expected to become a tropical storm sometime Thursday morning.
11:14 PM — President Donald Trump speaks with Fox News Channel host Shannon Bream about why it would be unfair to cancel Wednesday evening’s rally.
11:06 PM —
10:58 PM —
10:05 PM — The University of South Carolina in Columbia has canceled classes on Thursday due to Hurricane Michael.
9:54 PM —
9:51 PM — Pets find shelter as Hurricane Michael batters Flordia Panhandle.
9:18 PM — CoreLogic estimates Hurricane Michael could cause $2 to$4.5 billion in damages to real estate.
9:09 PM — Hurricane Michael has begun weakening as it charges across southwestern Georgia with damaging winds and rains. It has dropped from a once formidable Category 4 to a bottom-tier Category 1 storm, per the Associated Press.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the eye of Michael was about 20 miles southwest of Albany, Georgia, at 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday. It had top sustained winds of 90 mph and was moving to the northeast at 17 mph.
Forecasters say storm flooding is still occurring along the Florida Gulf Coast after Michael crashed ashore Wednesday afternoon as a fierce storm with 155 mph winds. The storm is expected to head to the northeast as it crosses south and central Georgia into the Carolinas in coming hours.
9:06 PM —
9:03 PM — Duke Energy says Hurricane Michael could cause 300,000-500,000 power outages in North Carolina and South Carolina
8:59 PM — Amazing satellite gif.
8:40 PM — The National Weather Service issued multiple tornado warnings in Georgia as Hurricane Michael pushed through the state, and local media report three of them may have touched down, according to the Associated Press.
News media in Macon reported that by early evening Wednesday, tornadoes had touched down near Roberta, Perry and Fort Valley in Georgia’s midstate region.
Crawford County officials said a possible tornado damaged five homes near Roberta. The county’s emergency management director told news media it touched down on Highway 128 and knocked down power lines and trees. No injuries were reported.
Weather officials had warned that the massive storm, which came ashore Wednesday afternoon in Florida’s Panhandle region, could spawn tornadoes as it moves northeast.
8:26 PM — Hurricane Michael weakens to a category 1 storm.
8:15 PM — The National Weather Service releases the latest experimental advisory summary for Hurricane Michael.
8:07 PM — Hurricane Michael has left extensive damage in Panama City, with broken and uprooted trees and power lines down nearly everywhere, the Associated Press says. Roofs were peeled off and homes split open by fallen trees. Twisted street signs lay on the ground. Residents emerged early Wednesday evening to assess damage when rains stopped, though skies were still overcast and windy.
A pine tree punched a hole in the roof of the apartment where 29-year-old Vance Beu was staying with his mother. The roar of the storm sounded like a jet engine as the wind accelerated, and their ears popped as pressure dropped.
Beu said, “It was terrifying, honestly. There was a lot of noise. We thought the windows were going to break at any time. We had the inside windows kind of barricaded in with mattresses. We did whatever we could to kind of hunker down.”
7:53 PM —
7:41 PM — A Red Cross official says it’s possible that as many as 320,000 people on Florida’s Gulf Coast did not evacuate and are likely riding out the storm, per the Associated Press.
Evacuation orders were sent by state and local officials to about 325,000 people. Emergency managers say they don’t know how many left the area, but there were about 6,000 people in 80 shelters in five states, including nearly 1,200 who are still in shelters following Hurricane Florence.
Michael went from a tropical storm to a projected Category 3 hurricane in around six hours and could have caught thousands off guard.
Brad Kieserman is the Vice President of Operations and Logistics for the American Red Cross. He says the storm “intensified extremely quickly and didn’t give anyone enough time to do much.”
7:39 PM — CNN interviews Mexico Beach councilwoman Linda Albrecht.
7:35 PM — Republican Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis joins Fox News Channel host Martha Maccallum to discuss Hurricane Michael.
7:29 PM — Hurricane Michael downgraded to a category 2 storm.
7:24 PM —
7:20 PM —
7:10 PM — Gadsden County sheriff official says one man has died after a tree fell on his home. Details to come.
7:09 PM — Speaking before supporters at a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, President Donald Trump sends his thoughts and prayers to residents in Hurricane Michael’s path, says he will head to Florida in the very near future.
7:06 PM — Feel good story amid the chaos.
7:04 PM — Louisiana is sending dozens of emergency personnel, along with boats, ambulances and other equipment to Florida to help with the response to Hurricane Michael, according to the Associated Press.
The state emergency preparedness office announced the assistance Wednesday, shortly before the storm roared ashore.
The emergency workers include ambulance teams coordinated by the Louisiana health department, search-and-rescue workers from the fire marshal’s office, firefighters, medics and a helicopter team from the Louisiana National Guard. The assistance, for which Louisiana will be reimbursed, is coordinated through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact system.
Meanwhile, Entergy says its Louisiana subsidiaries are sending 170 employees and contractors to help Florida restore power lost due to Michael.
Florida’s state government reports says there are at least 191,000 homes and businesses without power because of the storm.
7:02 PM —
6:54 PM — Hurricane Michael prompts movie theaters chains AMC Cinemas and Regal Cinemas to close locations in the Florida panhandle and southern Georgia, according to Variety.
6:50 PM — North Carolina State Fair manager Kent Yelverton said Wednesday the event won’t open as planned on Thursday. Yelverton says the fair will instead open Friday morning and run for 10 days instead of 11, per the Associated Press.
State Agriculture Department spokeswoman Andrea Ashby said forecasts of heavy rain and high winds led to the decision.
Michael came ashore in Florida on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane. It is expected to pack wind gusts of 35 mph (55 kph) or more and dump several inches of rain in North Carolina.
Ashby said the fairgrounds will remain closed to the general public Thursday, though vendors and others with businesses to run will be admitted.
6:48 PM — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) says he’s particularly concerned about the storm blocking Interstate 10, which runs east-west across northern Florida through Pensacola, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville, reports the Associated Press.
Rubio told CNN on Wednesday that the highway will be a major route to bring in aid, and making sure it’s clear of debris will be a priority.
Rubio says he also wants to see power returned to the affected areas as quickly as possible. In the past, many deaths have occurred in the days after a hurricane, with nursing homes residents being left without air conditioning or homeowners being exposed to carbon monoxide from generators.
6:43 PM — The National Hurricane Center says Michael has lost some power, but it remains a dangerous Category 3 storm as it approaches an area where Florida, Alabama and Georgia meet, per the Associated Press. Maximum sustained winds of 125 mph (200 kph) continued to batter the Florida Panhandle, with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the center. It made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, as a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane earlier Wednesday afternoon.
According to a 5 p.m. advisory, the storm was located 30 miles west of Bainbridge, Georgia, and 70 miles southwest of Albany, Georgia. It was moving north-northeast at 16 mph. Forecasters say storm surge waters are beginning to recede, but some normally dry areas near the coast will continue to be flooded.
6:25 PM — Gov. Rick Scott provides an update on the storm. “If you and your family made it through this storm safely, the worst thing you can do now is act foolishly and put your self and your family in danger, or keep law enforcement from saving lives,” he tells reporters. No fatalities have been confirmed at this time.
6:13 PM — Tallahassee is now allowing first responders and utility crews out into the open.
6:07 PM —
6:03 PM —
5:52 PM —
5:37 PM — More scenes of Panama City destruction:
5:31 PM — Closer look at a building glimpsed in earlier videos.
5:12 PM —
5:07 PM — Michael is officially downgraded to Category 3 as it moves into Georgia and Alabama.
5:01 PM — More closeup views of the destruction in Panama City.
4:55 PM —
4:53 PM —
4:42 PM — Latest wire photos.
4:41 PM — Lynn Haven is about five miles north of Panama City.
4:37 PM — About 70 miles northwest of Tallahassee.
4:14 PM — Storm surge finally receding in Apalachicola.
4:09 PM — Montage of new footage from Panama City:
4:00 PM —
3:44 PM —
3:40 PM — Winds strengthening in Tallahassee as Michael approaches.
3:31 PM — Port St. Joe is about 30 miles southeast of Panama City.
3:30 PM —
3:23 PM — New wire photos:
3:19 PM — St. Marks is about 20 miles south of Tallahassee.
3:15 PM — Extensive damage in Panama City and Mexico Beach:
3:13 PM —
3:11 PM — Michael has maintained wind speeds of 150 mph as it heads inland.
3:08 PM — Latest numbers on Tallahassee residents without power:
2:50 PM — Scenes from a flooded hotel in Panama Beach:
2:44 PM — Response and relief incoming: Trump suggests weekend trip to survey damage from Michael.
2:42 PM —
2:41 PM —
2:26 PM — New footage from the International Space Station.
2:25 PM —
2:22 PM —
2:21 PM —
2:19 PM —
2:18 PM — Wire photos from Panama City:
2:13 PM —
2:07 PM —
2:06 PM — Incredible local news footage of debris flying by the front of a hotel entrance.
2:05 PM —
2:03 PM — NBC News’ Lester Holt has given up on reporting from outside his hotel room.
2:01 PM —
1:59 PM —
1:58 PM —
1:57 PM —
1:54 PM — Michael is officially the strongest hurricane on record to hit the Panhandle.
1:53 PM —
1:49 PM —
1:43 PM — Just 2 MPH below Category 5.
1:40 PM —
1:39 PM —
1:32 PM —
1:31 PM — National Weather Service in Tallahassee loses contact with a doppler radar.
1:29 PM —
1:26 PM —
1:22 PM —
1:20 PM — Landfall is official. Local news station cuts off.
1:16 PM — Latest wire photos.
1:13 PM —
1:09 PM —
1:03 PM —
1:02 PM —
1:01 PM —
12:57 PM —
12:56 PM —
12:54 PM —
12:51 PM —
12:49 PM —
12:46 PM —
12:45 PM — Latest wire photos:
12:43 PM —
12:42 PM —
12:39 PM —
12:35 PM —
12:34 PM —
12:31 PM — Record-breaking storm surge in Apalachicola:
12:30 PM —
12:27 PM —
12:24 PM —
12:17 PM — Meanwhile, in Apalachicola:
12:16 PM — Michael is only 20 miles from Panama City, FL.
12:15 PM — 157 mph is the threshold for a Category 5 upgrade.
12:12 PM —
12:11 PM —
12:04 PM —
11:55 AM — Latest wire photos via Getty Images.
11:51 AM —
11:47 AM —
11:42 AM —
11:40 AM — Street view of Panama City Beach.
11:39 AM — Amateur video of a transformer blowing in Tallahassee.
11:36 AM —
11:34 AM — Stronger.
11:32 AM —
11:31 AM —
11:25 AM —
11:10 AM — Interview with Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, who says President Trump has put “partisanship” before “leadership” in emergencies like Hurricane Michael.
11:08 AM —
10:59 AM — Michael is not weakening much as it makes its final approach:
10:54 AM — Street view from Tallahassee.
10:49 AM —
10:32 AM — The latest wire photos on Hurricane Michael:
10:23 AM —
10:15 AM — The latest videos and photos of Hurricane Michael:
And the latest wire updates from AP:
National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham is warning that a Category 4 hurricane will bring catastrophic damage to Florida’s Panhandle.
Graham says Michael’s top winds of 145 mph (230 kph) are powerful enough to peel off roofs and cause the “complete destruction of houses.”
Stretches of the coast could see storm surge of at least 6 feet (2 meters), with waters rising in some places up to 14 feet (4 meters) above the ground. Graham wants people to think about how tall they are, and just how high that water can be.
Michael is powerful enough to remain a hurricane well inland as it travels over Georgia on Thursday. Graham says falling trees will pull down utility lines, leaving some areas without power for weeks, and hazardous conditions will persist long after the storm blows through.
He says the aftermath of a hurricane is “not the time to start learning to use that chain saw.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the impact of Hurricane Michael will be “horrible,” the worst storm to hit the Panhandle in a century.
Scott said Wednesday he’s “scared to death” that people in places such as St. George Island along the state’s coast had ignored evacuation orders.
He said he hopes that no one kept children with them as they chose to ride it out, but the time to evacuate from coastal areas has “come and gone.”
The governor said state authorities are now focusing on the recovery effort once the fast-moving storm blows through. He has activated up 3,500 members of the Florida National Guard and says thousands of utility workers are on stand-by.
Huge waves are pounding the shore at Panama City Beach, where officials have announced they are now unable to respond to any calls for service. Just inland in Panama City, the fire department says it will respond to only life-threatening emergencies and only within the city limits.
The biggest waves are shooting frothy green water between homes and up to the base of wooden stairs over the dunes and the skies appear menacing as tropical-storm-force winds lash the coast. Landfall is expected about midday Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.