Hurricane Michael upgraded to Category 5 at time of United States landfall

Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael retroactively upgraded to a Category 5 storm at landfall

Michael is the first Category 5 storm to make landfall in the USA since Hurricane Andrew slammed into South Florida in 1992.

"It hit a very pristine, very unique part of our state, so again this validates what we've been saying all along, and hopefully, this will spur Congress to do the job", said Senator Bill Montford, (D) District 3.

- Scientists at the National Hurricane Center now say Hurricane Michael was a Category 5 storm when it made landfall in Florida's Panhandle last October. The initial intensity was calculated at 135 knots or 155.3 miles per hour.

The upgrade in category will affect our area, and state lawmakers hope it will also have an impact on how Congress will deal with it.

Hurricane Michael's legacy is still being written. Floridians are deciding on two hotly contested races for Senate and Governor, among other local seats.

"You still ride through our city and it's depressing", Cathey said. Today, the population has dipped to about 400 people and there are less than 500 structures standing.

PANAMA CITY, FL - OCTOBER 20: A auto drives past trees broken by Hurricane Michael on October 20, 2018 in Panama City, Florida.

Michael destroyed the small northwestern town of Mexico Beach, which is just south of Panama City Beach and the Florida panhandle. Both categories signify the potential for catastrophic damage.

Authorities said 16 deaths were blamed on Michael and the storm's destruction caused an estimated $25 billion in damage in the U.S.

The new landfall speed was determined by a review of the available aircraft winds, surface winds, surface pressures, satellite intensity estimates and Doppler radar velocities, NOAA said.

For the non-profit group Michael's Angels, who have been advocating for more relief money, they said it shows they are slowly making a difference. "It's a mess", he said.

The storm came ashore on the afternoon of October 10, 2018, near Mexico Beach and Tyndall Air Force Base, with winds of 160 miles per hour, the Hurricane Center determined. Michael was also the latest date of a Category 5 hurricane that made landfall. The storm still packed hurricane force winds through Georgia, and it had winds upwards 60-75 miles per hour as it worked its way up the Eastern seaboard states of Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. It's only the forth of its kind on record for the United States, including the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 and Hurricane Camille in 1969.

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