ABOUT 400,000 people were told to evacuate the Florida Panhandle out of the path of 145mph Hurricane Michael as it swept ashore.
Experts said it was the most powerful storm on record to hit the stretch of fishing towns, military bases and spring break beaches.
‘I really fear for what things are going to look like there tomorrow,’ Colorado State University hurricane expert Phil Klotzbach said. Michael was yesterday upgraded to a category four hurricane as it drew energy from the Gulf of Mexico’s 84F waters. That was up from a category two on Tuesday.
Many people ignored the warnings to leave and were preparing to sit out the storm. Sally Crown was staying with her two dogs in the exposed coastal town of Apalachicola ‘We’ve been through this before,’ she said. ‘This might be really bad and serious. But in my experience, it’s always blown way out of proportion.’
Marshall Shepherd, a former head of the American Meteorological Society, called it a ‘life-altering event’. He said he watched satellite images of the storm’s growth with a pit in his stomach.