Hurricane Michael

MEXICO+BEACH%2C+FL+-+OCTOBER+12%3A+Homes+and+businesses+along+US+98+are+left+in+devastation+by+Hurricane+Michael+on+October+12%2C+2018+in+Mexico+Beach%2C+Florida.+The+deadly+hurricane+made+landfall+along+the+Florida+Panhandle+Wednesday+as+a+Category+4+storm.+%28Photo+by+Mark+Wallheiser%2FGetty+Images%29
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Hurricane Michael

MEXICO BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 12: Homes and businesses along US 98 are left in devastation by Hurricane Michael on October 12, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The deadly hurricane made landfall along the Florida Panhandle Wednesday as a Category 4 storm. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

MEXICO BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 12: Homes and businesses along US 98 are left in devastation by Hurricane Michael on October 12, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The deadly hurricane made landfall along the Florida Panhandle Wednesday as a Category 4 storm. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

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MEXICO BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 12: Homes and businesses along US 98 are left in devastation by Hurricane Michael on October 12, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The deadly hurricane made landfall along the Florida Panhandle Wednesday as a Category 4 storm. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Getty Images

MEXICO BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 12: Homes and businesses along US 98 are left in devastation by Hurricane Michael on October 12, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The deadly hurricane made landfall along the Florida Panhandle Wednesday as a Category 4 storm. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

Jacob Norton, Weather Writer

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Hurricane Michael was the strongest hurricane on record to hit the Florida Panhandle. It hit as an intense Category 4 storm with 155 mph sustained winds. The hurricane was also the third most intense hurricane to hit the United States in terms of pressure, and had the fourth highest sustained winds to hit the United States.

Storm surge reached heights of nine to fourteen feet from Apalachee Bay to Mexico Beach. Michael produced a peak inundation (flooding) if 7.72 feet, smashing the previous record set by Hurricane Dennis in 2005 of 6.43 feet above the ground.

However, storm surge was not the most dangerous aspect of Michael. Instead, it was the wind the storm produced. The wind ripped roofs off of buildings, toppled trees, and destroyed an air force training camp. Fighter jets were flipped over, and entire houses were blown over. Most houses on the panhandle were built before hurricane-resistant building codes were put into effect, making them highly susceptible to damage.

Rain fall was also a major problem. There were two hundred and four reports of flash flooding throughout the United States. The most rainfall reported was 9.62 inches near Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Michael was quick to develop. Michael started off as a tropical depression on October 7th, and made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on October 10th. This gave people extremely short notice to prepare.

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