Hurricane Michael makes landfall

Monster storm is the third-strongest on record to ever hit the U.S.
27:45 | 10/10/18

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Transcript for Hurricane Michael makes landfall
We continue now and our coverage of this devastating storm hitting the Florida coastline. Hurricane Michael. Now classified as the strongest storm to hit the US in fifty years since Hurricane Camille the third strongest storm. In US history it made landfall. In man and now Mexico City. Beach in the Florida Panhandle that's where ABC's ginger zee is right now we are unable to go for our. To go to her right now because it's simply too dangerous she's seeking shelter. The storm had a 155. Mile an hour winds as it made landfall and even just slightly down the coast where ABC's David Muir is located you can see the power of that storm. This is the view from the vestibule. Of the hotel where he has been reporting that support a co extending over the best known just listen. We are for same location and I've got to tell you a significant. Scare for the families who are more inside his hotel that says you're looking out through the window you can see the roof of B. Hotel that we had been standing out there that was a shelter. For category four hurricane that has now come down on those suvs and I was just telling you about earlier. The wind is picking up so much reported ticket breaks at that you Georgia and I think for the but he says we'll hopefully. And you just see the devastating winds that are just raking across the Florida coastline as the hurricane heads inland this is a storm that formed off the coast of Cuba on Monday it has been gathering strength as it. You have bears down on Florida. And to talk with us more about the path of this storm and the destruction that is expected to cause. Let's go to Melissa Griffin meteorologist here in the weather center Melissa what can you tell us. I gave it so this catastrophic hurricane Michael has made landfall. A category four and at the high end category 455. Mile per hour wind. We have a extreme wind warnings in the fact right now I want to show you you can actually see you right here on the satellite. Nearly almost the entire IA is now moving into a lot Panama's state next he'll be right in between there that's where hat neatly at all. We haven't extreme winds happening right now extreme wind warnings are in fact. For panic they eat out Apalachicola and even me further inland. At the hurricane moves further inland across the board and across the fourth can't handle. We -- have we got a 130 miles per hour in this area we've seen the damage on deviated in durable have shown as extreme damage in the area. We've seen trees going down power outages thousands and thousands power outages are expected back at last for not dates but even leaks. I want you to track because it is very important we can see it right across. If an open a buzz saw right across the southeast with several states under a state of emergency not just Florida Alabama. Georgia South Carolina North Carolina all are going to feel the impact. From hurricane Michael even by Wednesday night that's tonight at 8 PM. At category two hurricane and southwest Georgia so this could be in major tropical that. He probably has store tropical that for Georgia as well it's already been historic for the Puerto panhandle have never seen hurricane like this on record. And it's going to continue to push it in the Carolinas the Carolina have just dealt with hurricane Florence now they'll be dealing with this. More rain on top of the flooding they just saw last month. Before which is out this C want to leave you with this tornado watch still in effect for parts of the panhandle up through southwestern Georgia. As hurricane Michael makes lamp while we still up the watch for tornadoes that isn't another threat with Michael as well as the storm surge and of course the catastrophic winds. We've anything. It. Melissa as you can as you pointed out and those maps a major. Population centers in the path of this hurricane. Going right between Atlanta rally. Charleston etc. I know that it gathered strength as it came up through the Gulf of Mexico because of the warm water there. Is it likely that dissipate as it heads inland. Right so it can't get its treatment even more into the warm water and the low winds here rape report made landfall now at the news in minutes go to start weakening pretty fast but it's already so strong like a fat it's the third strongest hurricane to make landfall he rats sell its own it. Take a little bit of courage to actually start a week and that's why we see fit that category one or two hurricane. As it moves across Georgia that's already potential. Very dangerous and packs for Georgia as it moves across the stay it doesn't weekend. Likely by Thursday morning to a tropical storm when lives across the Carolinas by it's going to take some time to get there we still act in packs. Tonight it in the overnight hours for Alabama Georgia as well let's work at what we've seen in the pantanal. Melissa thank you very much for keeping amount of force we've back to no doubt with more but now let's go to Kenneth promote and he's at FEMA headquarters in I'm sorry Victor canto where is Victor. In Tallahassee. Victor has a look at. Well David conditions are quickly deteriorating how do your hurricane Michael is heading right this way we're starting to feel the first. For those hurricane force winds here the rain has been consistent and now those wind gusts are getting much stronger. Tony officials say that tell us he is not serious storm like this in more. Than a century if you have not evacuated if you have not left her home the time for that has passed. West Tallahassee is expected to get the brunt of hurricane Michael here and they're already reports of downed trees and there as well. Fortis capital. Beautiful what is covered with trees just like that came when you see right there behind me as well. Just not that Spanish moss hanging below a lot of that is already covering the streets here. In Tallahassee so the major concern here all along has been that was downed trees and the power lines as Michael begins or ripped through this city. There was no doubt that will be looking at some project off a lot of debris on the roads and power outages for days possibly weeks. So officials made sure to prepare for this when there are more than a thousand utility workers were talking about power crews. And actually removing crews as well they are ready to roll out as soon as the storm makes its way through here but keep in mind once the winds reach. 35 miles per hour. It is not safe for them to be out here on the roads it was just two years ago hurricane her mean hate. It knocked out power to some 75000. Customers 80% of the electrical grid it was damaged in a cause more. Then five million dollars in damage so this time around everyone was prepared for the storm. That's and we are expecting about five to eight inches of rain here. And tornadoes are absolutely possibility so just to reiterate the city of county officials say that. If you have not evacuated it is too late to do so stay at home seek shelter. Index thanks very much Victor for bringing us up to date there in Tallahassee. The capital of Florida slightly inland. Let's go now back to the coast and that's where we find. ABC's rob Marciano rob you're in Panama City has ago and. Well I know yeah. The man who. Women live. Yeah. I spent millions if they lived there is okay. The event saw the very kind of quiet this whole thing I know while that's ever lived and ensure that we don't know can read more. And that's bad it's certainly. Minutes. And they've done. Nintendo is doing was wrong but it's a good cauliflower need if they cannot. Thank them enough. Bob rob the winds are looking very fears there. I don't know if you can hear me very well but are you in the eye of the storm now or is it. You still in the front of it. I think. I'm running. I was telling me right now that I'm this. Well even more so. I'm and now. And then they live now. We've been done well. It's been a big guy didn't just sit by about. Gerard is good to answer your question I get. Inspiring spiritual scrutiny in many ways. You'll see balanced line around mosquitoes network and the storm and balanced and gazes hundreds of miles from another part of the world found. We're not as well as an out of Portsmouth right now we are experiencing some pretty intense winds and obviously that's that's. Crime possession. Hang on is there. Me and it's something. Minutes. None of construction program. With its massive creative defenseman period there. Atlantis' all that won't implement their Panama. And then medical would have been. I don't know on the on the left side man you know and hope that admittedly wanted to storm comes on the negative swing in and we might when. When yeah yeah. Yeah yeah. There's been no new clues of moving the ball away isn't really categories. Hurricane strength. So far remarkably Manning held up when this one's so I'm always an off. Smell things. And certainly some of that dependability that are here and I were standing. These terribly hurricane. I'm in love you right now with standing those wind conditions or get inside get drive. And we'll check back with you later. ABC's rob Marciano. Right there in. Panama City, Florida let's go now to Ken Graham he is the director of the National Hurricane Center. Are you there when most. Ken Graham to are you able to hear me this is David Wright. Okay. Unfortunately we can't go to him right now but to recap just a little bit. This is now the third strongest storm on record here in the United States the strongest storm. In fifty years since 1969. That's when hurricane cameo. Hit the Florida coast. We are now in the the early stages of this hurricane making land fall. 155. Mile an hour winds as it made landfall in Mexico beach Florida. Let's go to. Kenneth smoke when he's a FEMA headquarters. Kenneth it. David hey David until they are marred by about my friend rob there yeah it's dry inside here there are no strong winds but there's still. A flurry of activity inside this nerve center for FEMA headquarters has really. Really want teen and monitoring this massive storm. In really staying in contact with state and local officials this is a massive federal response here and there are a number of concerns for FEMA first and foremost the people making sure that people really hunkered down. And that they know that if they need help when I called my one warned it may take some time for them to get that help. FEMA administrator brought long has been briefing the White House and president trop. Who whereas the administrator about those who didn't have the means to escape this storm in a timely fashion that we know that it was fast approaching and people could get out in time. But the administrator in short the president should the president there that there are staying in touch with state and local officials and make sure they can get to those people ask Basque. As possible the next priority making sure that the state and local officials have the resource is the data really. Have on what they need have the military response is well they coordinate this. Massive federal effort to mission and clear the roads because. We don't have made concerns downed trees down power lines FEMA preparing. For some areas to be without electricity for weeks other concerns again that power infrastructure building that we're not built to withstand. Category anything above a category three. On that where maybe I didn't have the certain codes circles when put into effect until about 2001 in Florida where there are a lot of buildings. In the panhandle in Florida that likely cannot withstand those category three winds so that's the concern from FEMA as well. We also know they're keeping a close eye on those toxic waste sites the Superfund sites that are can really be vulnerable when you're dealing wet. A storm with intensity in the wins. Of one like hurricane Michael but again dear we know that Brock longest. Really in touch with the White House other federal officials they really mobilized inner agency call I'm just about an couple hours ago where they spoke with officials. In the southeast state and local they also had. Pew from the Coast Guard on that call to make sure they were all coordinated and all ready to respond to mobilize as soon as possible. Kenneth as you say this Florida is basically the front edge of this storm right now. But this thing is gonna march like general Sherman's army across the south basically. Through pit areas where as you say they're not accustomed. To hurricanes as they might be. In Florida and we've also heard a number of our reporters in the field talking about the possibility of tornadoes in the wake of this now how big a concern is that. A big concern that's why FEMA has quit 3000 people in the southeast and very strategic spots. In those states that are going to be impacted by Michael and so. We know that in Florida they've got soldiers that are open they've got a number of crews. FEMA workers who were down there. But also they're looking at. What happens the next state lands tomorrow Friday and so we know Thursday late Thursday late tomorrow Friday that Georgia is inspecting. Structural damage we know they're expecting a lot when it comes to dealing with that storm in so that's why you have those workers. Who were there and in certain areas they are safe we're being told by FEMA but they're there in those seriously should they could respond quickly to this pleases and Georgia. And in the southeastern part of Georgia as well. And then Friday. That heavy rain is it really expected to impact the Carolinas. We know the Carolinas are still doing with the aftermath of perking floors commemorative reversed I'm still have not proceeded. That's a concern. After they crest of a couple weeks ago and so FEMA says it's ready to respond to those hard hit areas and we'll see even more flood flooding possibly by estimates a David it is. Good news we can say good news as a pro. How to conduct the storm is moving fast because they're hoping that the source of some moves quickly over the states that are already doing with all that flooding. Very interesting Kenneth stay with us if you could please just for a few minutes but I want to bring into the conversation. Tom Bonser his standing by in our DC bureau and I gather Tom you have had some experience with these kinds of storms how bad does this look. Yeah David unfortunately that's true and that we put in perspective. Twenty million people right now are under some watch or warning of some type either hurricane flooding or tornado warning. And so as we watch it's sometimes hard to understand how much. Of the country is really at risk twenty million people give or take in so all the preparedness that we do and all the government actions that we taken various levels of our. Municipal and federal state governments are important but if twenty million people haven't taken some degree of personal. You know accountability and steps on their own that kind of mass scale events very difficult to then recover respond to after the fact. Very interest saying so are you concerned that. Not enough people heeded these warnings. Yet to be honest I really am a number of things happened here we've reported it very well all morning. The speed with which this storm materialized and intensified and made landfall it's moving very very quickly forward so. I've said this afforded people it's a little bit simple but I think of this storm moving quickly forward not just the speed that's moving it wind speed that we talk about. It's also moving forward situated to move your hand through a vast you can imagine being waved in front of your hand as this day storm surge so we focused on that. But now I think Sam Champion and others have really pointed out to us throughout today's coverage but it's gonna continue not just with storm surge. We shall kill people unfortunately are at least has the potential to. But and a continuous wind and tornadic events and flooding events always. And to your point marching across the south so I'm worry that not everybody in one former or another risk Tennyson's heeded the appropriate warnings. Or had the time to do so in sum I'm looking for and hoping and praying against loss of life. Our prayers are or reviewers there are. How does this compare with what I mean we've it seems like we've seen and not a couple of devastating hurricane seasons. In the past couple of years are these things getting worse or is this just a roll of the dice every year. Well boy I don't know how to out of you know develop a large scientific trend here I can tell you is that the last time. I served in government. Recently and we had a big pink 2070 natural disaster season. Each storm is different though Houston had a lot of rain and not a lot of drainage so we saw a great deal flooding. With hurricane Harvey slow moving storm. This is a faster storm and we're seeing a much difference dynamics we just discussed. Last summer serving government long time ago in 2003 and four I saw four category major three in four. Major hurricanes make landfall in that states in six weeks. Some back then we are talking about this being a trend as well and we saw a little bit of a law all of of hurricane impacts for the ten years in between so. Trend analysis is outside my scope right now but I can tell you this one's intense. It's unique to this particular area the world and I am very very worried that them. You know think of it this way earlier Sam Champion talked about why this storm is unique from a meteorologist perspective that's very important. But from an emergency managers perspective all the people that may be hunkered down right now that might require assistance after the fact. Complicates things like the provision of Emergency Medical Services the distribution of commodities. That retail level distribution of aid and help. And so I'm looking for a very very difficult challenging and frustrating. Period of weeks ahead. I know you say that each of these storms is unique but. You know you're here though of the statistic there that this is the strongest storm since 1969. The third strongest storm. In US history and I think back to the storms and an. In my lifetime. One of the big ones that stands out as Hurricane Katrina obviously some unusual circumstances there. But if this storm is stronger than Katrina do we expect damage on that scale. Yeah that's a great question but also a difficult comparisons and the reason I was cautioning. But each storm is unique. Is the speed and and the characteristic scientifically don't necessarily equates to human loss of life and human loss of property and so forth so. We've had very very intense storms hit on populated areas bingo you know almost without without warning or it out damage. We've had Hurricane Katrina I was there all through that storm. Really weakened to category two by the time it made landfall. And yet it wreaked damage across the entire Gulf Coast of this country. A lot of that had to do with a brief illness but our infrastructure our societal. American dependency in some places that were rated for. On government assistance and so. I you're gonna see some of that happen here but it'll be a little bit better prepared and a little less brutal but people are going to be really really really struggling after this. All right Thom bus or thank you very much for your perspective there I want to turn back to the front lines of this storm now where we've got. Meg you truly in Panama City, Florida Maggie has a look at where you are. Well David neither does getting worse and worse if I'm being on as the wind is picking up and I'm shocked we just got on there because we lost I think. Two with cell phone providers and we finally found one that I'm clutching in my bag you right now that it is all we have left to talk to you. And not measured you can see it out for much and a wide in the camera just a little bit because and we weren't. Outside in the thick of it not too long ago we keep creeping further and further and and just read before we spoke I was standing right here no such a large wind gusts I kind of Cranston the best of helium that we are now taking it over so you might even see people. Walking back and forth but ever wants is kind of tried naked through the brunt of the storm right now. And daily route hear it starting at 3 AM this morning waiting for this storm and back then it was fairly quiet. Sense and as has been intensifying have to the past hour two hours. Things have gotten crazy every minute it seems set to pick up. In the notice kind of a shift in the wind patterns as well so well right now we seem to be in the middle of it emerges we needed to the other side at this. Well well keep your phone drive and that plastic baggy and that charge of your other found to be a better eye and we appreciate your beer. You're your reporting from there thank you so much. Let's turn now to a live via a live embers and she's a resident of port St. Joe in Florida she joins us by telephone. Olivia are you there with my. And Mario how are you I gather you've been live streaming from your home. How can we didn't get out. Eclipse. I get out little completely out Maryland quite. In effect. Husband go. Congress in our candidate like Ayers and prepare my ten billion Rick been. In Spain. Bring more rain now the only daughter regionally at and it definitely has shifted more of northern wind and I eastern any parent. Bert did. Toward the east the average is south the way it was simpler terms we've quite as. Linda down in our yard bare trees are down power lines the tiny art we have. Whatever street island blocking our cars and they actually definitely ink barely aware can't. That'll mean learning that their best seeking antley long Howard probably a couple of hours ago. So you know where is wait now for the back half of it that blow a period. You sound extraordinarily com I gather this is not your first rodeo. How does that sit there with them of the hurricanes you've felt in the past. I don't act funny you know growing up here and the bulk. You know any petty barricade this door. Everett as Spain and aren't being prepared is definitely the best thing to do it wouldn't make a jury happen at Erfurt. I think of it it and it line and places to go lineup where if it does get back I'd actually at Harvey. Dent last year it. They've backed that they Aaron purchasing scandal just a few months ago and though and I kind of act and it pretty terrible door U turn signs and into the actually I did it Al hunt. At target does a lot of water he sent a lot of flooding her courage and how a lot of wind that being a late bid dork who had been with Michael. And there was no idea alcohol I'd I'd probably would have been a problem Bok tower do not. Linda Linda Lindberg quieter around that we are turning united they have all the thoughtful they have positive it just. And keep everybody in thoughts and prayers and keep our little kitty beside count and our thoughts and prayers while this thing blows. There is sure it sounds like you may be without power for some time are you stock down with candles and batteries. And food another lie to them out of. We are we aren't we and me you know that that we're gonna the first thing I Africa where we decided to say it not evacuate we live picture we had plenty of batteries in it. Flashlight but he can still play a liar Padilla got nonperishable these. While it will get hot Dini without having any air conditioning in the hot Florida currently will be financed part provision that it will be trying to take. You know while they get the power back on. Well hang in there a live we'll Emerson a resident of port St. Joe in Florida. Thank you very much in the hunker down. We're gonna turn now to. Another report from David your. Giving us a sense of what the situation. Is like in Panama City where he has let's listen. To put this in perspective as you've been than likely saying we were we were you know. It's sort of a stairwell here say a brick fortified stairwell with somebody to families that I showed you earlier. But then to emerge and be able to see the email again third strongest hurricane to hit the US not since Hurricane Camille in 1969. Everybody here and a crew everybody's safe I just wonder sure they would you but I also wanted to give you an idea this is what we had showed you earlier. The front end of the hotel coming straight down that was where. Obviously we have been reporting of earlier. Earlier in the on the special and you can see. You could see every down on a number of cars around to those were some wooded suvs that were parked their. I'm purpose of it was sort of protect the team as we were reporting early on but you could you could feel this as the hurricane grew closer in you can actually still see through the window over there. Just the ferocity. Of the wins and the water that is whipping by. That's when we were in the in the hallway with many of them we could even get out on our cell phones it just gives you an idea of it when we're in the middle of these natural disasters that the self. The cell service immediately goes out because everybody is competing for what little of cell power there remains acts were just got back up a little bit from this story you can actually sends. When the pressure changes inside the hotel. You can see it in the rattling blasts but you can actually feel it and you can hear it to be be the win it's just incredible and I see those outer those outer windows that. You know we were told were up to code they're actually. Buckling somewhat when we'll have to see if they're able to withstand. This hurricane before Michaels actually done passing threat should tell you about the families so many of them when they saw us back away and move into the stairwell. They too went into hallways of the can meet the interior part of the hotel. A lot of them are in the hallways here in you know which is the Smart thing to do they have been following the advice of a people here in the hotel managers and when they were told is to seek safety in the hallways they did. And and we should mention that you know this morning. We just a few hours left. We heard from the administrator of FEMA. The head of FEMA saying that the time to leave was over we heard from Rick Scott who said. This hurricane can kill. And in fact we know it already did. Wall before it made landfall here in the US is responsible for a dozen or more deaths on its way here so let's just hope would we've what we have witnessed here today which is quite frankly and I've covered many of these hurricanes something I haven't seen before. ABC's David mirror. Which would smooth as ever under some very fraught conditions there in Panama City, Florida.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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