Hurricane Michael, 3rd most powerful in US history, kills at least 7 people
Hurricane Michael, the third most powerful hurricane in US history, slammed into the State of Florida Thursday, killing at least seven people and bringing "life threatening" floods to several states on the Atlantic coast.
According to Press TV, Michael struck Florida’s northwest coast near the small town of Mexico Beach on Wednesday afternoon with top sustained winds of 155 miles per hour (250 kph), pushing a wall of seawater inland and causing widespread flooding.
The storm tore entire neighborhoods apart, reducing homes and businesses to piles of wood and siding, damaging roads and leaving scenes of devastation that resembled the aftermath of a carpet-bombing operation.
The storm left "unimaginable destruction" and “so many lives have been changed forever,” Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement posted on social media.
US Army troops used heavy equipment to push a path through debris in Mexico Beach to allow rescuers through to search for trapped residents, survivors or casualties.
Rescuers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) used dogs, drones and GPS in the search. “We prepare for the worst and hope for the best. This is obviously the worst,” said Stephanie Palmer, a FEMA firefighter and rescuer from Coral Springs, Florida.
It weakened Thursday night to a tropical storm.
With a barometric pressure recorded at 919 millibars, a measure of a hurricane’s force, Michael was the third strongest storm on record to hit the continental United States, behind only Hurricane Camille that made landfall in the State of Mississippi in 1969 and the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys.