'Potentially catastrophic': Hurricane Michael starts lashing Florida

Hurricane Michael to hit Florida, but will there be any Maine impact?

Its winds roaring, it battered the coastline with sideways-blown rain, powerful gusts and crashing waves, swamped streets, bent trees, stripped away limbs and leaves and sent building debris flying.

Most hurricanes are good at producing tornadoes because they cause a lot of vertical shear - or differences in wind direction and speed at different heights. A National Ocean Service water level station at Apalachicola recently reported almost 6.5 feet of inundation above ground level.

Michael also had hot towers - tall thunderstorms that form in the eyewall of a hurricane - and these storms release heat that all the water vapor condenses into cloud water.

Hurricane Michael has picked up steam as it sped across the Gulf of Mexico towards the Florida Panhandle.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft reported the storm's minimum pressure had fallen to 923 mb - putting it on the list of the most powerful hurricanes to make landfall in the U.S. For comparison, Katrina had central pressure of 920 mb in 20015, recording the third-lowest pressure for a hurricane making U.S. landfall.

There are 57,000 homes at risk for potential storm-surge damage on Florida's Gulf Coast, with an estimated reconstruction-cost value of about $13.4 billion, according to CoreLogic, a real-estate-data company.

"This is definitely [and] unfortunately a historical and incredibly risky and life-threatening situation", he added.

Supercharged by abnormally warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday afternoon.

The storm is a category three out of five on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.

United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley also said that anyone seeking local resources connected to Hurricane Michael can dial 2-1-1 or 706-405-4775 around the clock.

Sheppard said the major threats from Michael are high winds and storm surge, forecast to reach 14 feet in some coastal areas. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for all of our viewing area.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is warning people in the path of massive Hurricane Michael that it's too late to evacuate.

"Water is going to come up, it´s going to cover your roof".

First coined by FEMA Director W. Craig Fugate in 2004, the index is based on the extent of operations and service at the 24/7 restaurant chain following a storm and indicates how prepared a business is in case of a natural disaster.

"The worst thing you can do now is leave, and put yourself and your family in danger", Scott said.

Rainfall amounts across our area will be between about 1 and 4 inches in many locations.

In all, the military has 2,216 active duty personnel, 32 helicopters, 240 high-water vehicles and 32 swift water boats in place in the event that the governor of Florida requests the military's assistance in rescues, O'Shaughnessy said.

As the storm barrels toward the coast, it threatens 3.8 million people who are all under hurricane warnings in Florida's panhandle and Big Bend regions, according to CNN.

Even if Michael wasn't making landfall in a particularly vulnerable section of US coastline, it would be an unrecoverable storm for many families. Michael is moving quickly at 14 miles per hour and will take a long time to weaken, expected to be a hurricane well into Georgia before weakening further.

The forecaster's long-range models are calling for the possibility of heavy rainfall in parts of Nova Scotia, depending on how close the system comes to the province. And only seven major hurricanes have hit within 100 miles (160 kilometers). Another spans from the Anclote River to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay. From 3 inches (8 centimeters) to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain is expected in other parts of the state. While weaker storms have hit that area, major hurricanes with winds greater than 110 miles per hour don't do it very often, McNoldy said. Georgia is expected to be hit by damaging winds and downed power lines.