U.S. NEWS

Hurricane Michael Photos Show 'Monstrous' Storm Surge Pummeling Florida Panhandle

The National Weather Service called the life-threatening storm "a worst case scenario" for northwest Florida.

As Hurricane Michael barreled through the Gulf of Mexico toward northwest Florida on Wednesday, dangerous storm surges had already begun flooding the state’s vulnerable coastal communities.

In St. Marks, roughly 20 miles south of Tallahassee, photos showed rising waters pouring into homes and businesses as early as Wednesday morning. 

“Flooding underway already in St. Marks and it’s low tide,” tweeted NPR’s Miami correspondent Greg Allen. “And the hurricane is still hours away.” 

Michael intensified to a Category 4 early Wednesday with winds of 155 mph, making it the most powerful storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in 100 years.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 14 feet are expected in some areas, the National Weather Service warned Wednesday. “THIS IS A WORST CASE SCENARIO for the Florida Panhandle!!” the agency tweeted.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has urged anyone in an evacuation zone to leave immediately, calling the storm “monstrous” and “deadly.”

Check out the photos below to see the early devastation wrought by Michael:

This photo made available by NASA shows the eye of Hurricane Michael, as seen from the International Space Station on Oct. 10
This photo made available by NASA shows the eye of Hurricane Michael, as seen from the International Space Station on Oct. 10, 2018.
Floodwaters hit the Cooter Stew Cafe in St. Marks, Florida, on Oct. 10, as Hurricane Michael pushes the storm surge up the Wa
Floodwaters hit the Cooter Stew Cafe in St. Marks, Florida, on Oct. 10, as Hurricane Michael pushes the storm surge up the Wakulla and St. Marks rivers, which come together in the town.
Mitchell Pope tries to salvage what he can from his mobile home on Oct. 10 in St. Marks.
Mitchell Pope tries to salvage what he can from his mobile home on Oct. 10 in St. Marks.
Flight director and NOAA meteorologist Richard Henning looks at a satellite view of Hurricane Michael from his workstation ab
Flight director and NOAA meteorologist Richard Henning looks at a satellite view of Hurricane Michael from his workstation aboard NOAA's Gulfstream IV jet, a high-flying platform used for hurricane forecasting and research, on Oct. 10.
Bo Lynn's Market starts taking water in the town of St. Marks on Oct. 10.
Bo Lynn's Market starts taking water in the town of St. Marks on Oct. 10.
Waves wash over a house as Hurricane Michael comes ashore in Alligator Point, Florida, on Oct. 10.
Waves wash over a house as Hurricane Michael comes ashore in Alligator Point, Florida, on Oct. 10.
The St. Marks River overflows into the town of St. Marks, ahead of Hurricane Michael, on Oct. 10.
The St. Marks River overflows into the town of St. Marks, ahead of Hurricane Michael, on Oct. 10.
Waves crash along a pier as Hurricane Michael approaches Panama City Beach, Florida, on Oct. 10.
Waves crash along a pier as Hurricane Michael approaches Panama City Beach, Florida, on Oct. 10.
Lenora Adams loads up her dog as she evacuates a motel in Panacea, Florida, on Oct. 10.
Lenora Adams loads up her dog as she evacuates a motel in Panacea, Florida, on Oct. 10.
A message has been written on a closed business as Hurricane Michael approaches Panama City Beach, Florida, on Oct. 10.
A message has been written on a closed business as Hurricane Michael approaches Panama City Beach, Florida, on Oct. 10.
An unidentified person takes pictures of the surf and fishing pier on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, on Oct.
An unidentified person takes pictures of the surf and fishing pier on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, on Oct. 10.
CONVERSATIONS