It was the third strongest hurricane (in terms of barometric pressure) to make landfall in the United States, with 1969’s Camile and 1935’s Labor Day Hurricane stronger. But even a storm that strong can have a saving grace.
For several days, the prediction was that Hurricane Michael was going to hit Panama City dead on, with the eye going right over the spring break mecca. But as it made landfall early this midday, the various satellites and radars tracked the eye of this monster storm. The eye wound up missing Panama City just barely to the east.
It is too early to say how bad the damage will be in Florida and in other states with the eye just making landfall a couple of hours ago. There will no doubt be a rebuilding effort, perhaps some question as to whether or not Michael was a Cat 4 or Cat 5 at landfall. (They thought Andrew was a “4” for many years – but after a decade or so of review, they appended the storm category to a 5.) I doubt President Trump will shirk from the challenge of rebuilding like George W. Bush did with Katrina over a decade ago.
Weather and news reporters are good at telling you with these disasters what goes on at the moment – but they are here today and will be gone sometime after tomorrow. For the residents of north Florida and the other states to be affected, here’s to a speedy recovery.