Unscathed by Hurricane Michael, Lake City friends test their luck

S Hurricane Michael drenches Florida Panhandle

Interested in Hurricane Michael?

As it approaches the Florida panhandle, Hurricane Michael has intensified into a Category 4 hurricane. But because Florida just had its hottest September on record, Masters said, Michael was able to feed off of a Gulf of Mexico that was 2 to 4 degrees hotter than usual on average.

At least 388,000 utility customers lost power as Hurricane Michael crashed ashore -- with potentially catastrophic winds of 155 miles per hour -- between Panama City and St. Vincent Island, before speeding north into Alabama and Georgia on Wednesday. More than 380,000 homes and businesses were without power at the height of the storm.

At least one death was reported in Gadsden County, Florida, where authorities said a tree crashed through a home and crushed a man.

Hurricane Michael, the most powerful storm the USA has seen in almost 50 years, is moving through the Florida Panhandle, ripping apart homes and sending walls of water rushing inland.

'Continuous lightning is present on the forward edge of the eyewall, and lightning detection on the rear edge rotate with specific sections of the eye'. Once that happens, wind speeds increase.

Hurricane Michael made landfall Wednesday as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 miles per hour, destroying buildings and leaving some structures fully submerged in water.

Michael battered the shoreline with sideways rain, powerful gusts and crashing waves, swamping streets and docks, flattening trees, stripped away leaves, shredding awnings and peeling away shingles.

"What you're going to see is a storm moving very rapidly through Georgia, and it will maintain hurricane strength through southwest Georgia and central Georgia as it passes through later today and early tomorrow", a representative for FEMA's told Good Morning America.

Warm water is like jet fuel for hurricanes, and a combination of balmy conditions in the Gulf of Mexico, a lack of disturbance from wind shear and rapid intensification near the coast turned Michael into a historic storm, according to hurricane experts.

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The combination of winds and storm surge will absolutely devastate portions of the Florida coastline.

Hurricane Michael will continue to produce heavy rainfall and the risk of flash flooding in the areas of Georgia, the Carolinas and southeastern Virginia.

This is preferred by Klotzbach, who explains that it is more precise for historical comparisons because it is measured precisely by an airplane flying in the middle of the storm's eye, whereas "wind is going to be different everywhere along the hurricane".

Hours earlier, it made landfall in Florida as the strongest hurricane to hit the USA in almost 50 years and the third-strongest ever.

A restaurant fixture known as "Big Gus" is seen damaged by Hurricane Michael in Panama City Beach.

The National Hurricane Center forecasted that a few areas could see up to a foot of rain.

"We're sending them out now", Scott said.

But many people living in counties farther east in North Central Florida were spared.

The hurricane strengthened due to the water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico.

"The more lead time you have, the more prepared you are", Masters said. It quickly buckled under the pressure of the storm.

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