Press "Enter" to skip to content

Hurricane Michael Hits Florida Hard

Mexico Beach, Florida —(Map)

Hurricane Michael hit Florida on Wednesday with a force that was much stronger than most people expected. It caused great damage in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. The storm has since moved through South Carolina, and is now in North Carolina.

Hurricanes form over oceans. The winds spin in a circle toward the center, which is lower in pressure. As the storm moves across the sea, it collects water into huge, spinning clouds. The water is released as rain as the storm hits land. Hurricanes can be hundreds of miles or kilometers across.

The picture shows Hurricane Michael as seen from the International Space Station on October 10, 2018.
Hurricanes form over oceans as winds spin in a circle toward the center.
The same kind of storm with slower winds is called a tropical storm.
Hurricane Michael as seen from the International Space Station on October 10.
(Source: Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, (NASA), via Wikimedia Commons.)

Until Monday, Michael was just a tropical storm. This is similar to a hurricane, but the winds move much more slowly. Not every tropical storm becomes a hurricane.

But Michael did, and it picked up power so quickly that it surprised many people. The strength of hurricanes is based on wind speeds. The lowest rating is Category 1 and the strongest rating is Category 5. As Hurricane Michael got closer to shore, it became a Category 2 hurricane. Within just two hours, it had changed into a Category 4 hurricane.

From their car, rescue workers track the storm as it comes close to land.
From their car, rescue workers track the storm as it comes close to land.
Until Monday, Michael was just a tropical storm.
Michael picked up power so quickly that it surprised many people.
Within two hours, it went from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane.
(Source: Florida Fish and Wildlife, via Flickr.com.)

Around 375,000 people had been told to leave their homes because of Hurricane Michael. But many people did not leave because the storm did not seem so strong. Many were surprised by how quickly Michael arrived.

Usually Category 4 hurricanes lose power before they hit land. This was not the case with Hurricane Michael. It struck land with winds as fast as 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour).

Aerial view of Mexico Beach devastation after Hurricane Michael, 10/11/2018.
Hurricane Michael hit Mexico Beach with wind speeds of 155 m.p.h. (250 k.p.h.).
Most buildings there were completely knocked down.
(Source: Coast Guard News, via Flickr.com.)

Northwest Florida – an area often called the “Panhandle” – was hit hardest. Hurricane Michael hit land at Mexico Beach, where most buildings were completely knocked down. After that, the hurricane carried on, leaving a trail of wrecked buildings and fallen trees behind it.

This picture shows damage from Hurricane Michael in Jacksonville, in northern Florida.
Hurricane Michael is the third strongest hurricane to ever hit the US.
Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott called the storm “an absolute monster.”
This picture shows damage in Jacksonville, in northern Florida.
(Source: Glenn Fawcett, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, via dvidshub.net.)

Hurricane Michael is the strongest hurricane to hit the US in about 50 years and the third strongest ever. Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott said, “Homes are gone, businesses are gone. Roads…along the storm’s path have been destroyed. This hurricane was an absolute monster.”

The situation is difficult for many people who have been hurt. Many hospitals have closed or are closing because of damage from the hurricane. So far six people have died because of the hurricane, but government workers worry that the number could go up as rescuers explore more. In all, over a million homes and businesses do not have electricity.

Florida National Guard working to clear trees blocking a road.
The government is asking people to stay away from the affected areas.
Rescue workers are trying to clear the roads and make sure they’re safe.
The picture shows the Florida National Guard clearing trees blocking a road.
(Source: The National Guard, via Flickr.com.)

The government is asking people to stay away from the affected areas. Rescue workers are trying to clear the streets and make sure there is no danger from electrical cables that have fallen.

Michael is now in North Carolina. Because its winds have slowed down, it is again a tropical storm instead of a hurricane. But it is dumping lots of rain on areas that are just beginning to recover from the rains of Hurricane Florence.

Mexico Beach, Florida


View Larger Map
Share:

Settings

Most news on NewsForKids.net is appropriate for all ages. When there is news that may not be suitable for all ages, we try to tag it. You can use the setting below to control whether content tagged in this manner is shown.