National Hurricane Center(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) — Hurricane Michael, a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, made landfall in the Florida Panhandle Wednesday afternoon, becoming the strongest storm to hit the U.S. since Hurricane Camille in 1969 and the third most powerful on record ever for the country.A broad swath of the Southeast is affected, with about 20 million people under either a warning or a watch for hurricane, flooding or tornadoes, said ABC News contributor Tom Bossert, former Homeland Security Adviser to President Donald Trump.For the Florida Panhandle where the storm came ashore, Michael is the worst hurricane since the mid-1800s, the director of FEMA said.Life-threatening winds, dangerous storm surgeAs the winds pushed the ocean water onto the coast, ABC News chief meteorologist Ginger Zee said she saw an “entire home, a well-built home, rolling down the street. … it makes you shake.”Unlike last month’s Hurricane Florence that brought massive flooding to the Carolinas, one of the biggest threats from Michael is the wind.Michael — described by Florida Gov. Rick Scott as “monstrous” — made landfall with the almost the highest wind speed possible for a Category 4 — 155 mph. When a hurricane reaches 157 mph, it is in the highest category, a Category 5.As Michael approached the coast its pressure dropped to about 919 millibars (mb). The lower the pressure, the more intense the storm. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 made landfall with a pressure of 920 millibars.The hurricane also was forecast to bring a storm surge of up to 14 feet high, prompting warnings from officials.“Anybody that doesn’t evacuate that experiences storm surge doesn’t typically live to tell about that story,” Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told “Good Morning America” on Wednesday.Residents seek shelter, hunker downThousands fled the Florida coastline before the heavy rain — which may reach up to 12 inches — began.But by Wednesday morning, it was too late to evacuate. Those who remained were urged to shelter in place.“This was a shock waking up knowing it was a [Category] 4,” said Panama City Beach resident Julie Gordon. “Thinking it was a [Category] 2 was a very different story.”All bridges from Panama City Beach to further inland have closed, so Gordon said she is riding out Michael at home, “hoping and praying that the storm will continue to drift to the northeast … [an area] where it’s not quite as populated.”The Panhandle is the wide strip of northwest Florida with the Gulf of Mexico to the south and Alabama and Georgia to the north. Popular with tourists for its beaches, the area also has many year-round residents — its largest city is Pensacola, with a population approaching half a million.“First responders will not be able to come out in the middle of the storm,” the governor tweeted. “If you chose to stay in an evacuation zone, you must SEEK REFUGE IMMEDIATELY.”About 4,000 people have entered 70 evacuation shelters, FEMA officials said.Michael may bring weekslong power outages, officials added.Mobile homes are especially a concern since they aren’t built to withstand hurricane-force winds, so in one county in south Georgia, mobile home residents were invited to shelter at a local church, reported ABC affiliate WALB in Albany, Georgia.“The size of this thing is growing,” said Reggie Rachals, sheriff of Lee County, Georgia. “It will tear up mobile home parks real bad.”Bossert said he’s concerned not enough people evacuated and many rescues may be needed after the brunt of the storm passes.“I am very, very worried” about the recovery, Bossert added. “People are going to really struggling after this one.”States of emergency across the SouthThe last Category 4 hurricanes to strike the U.S. mainland were both in 2017 — Irma, which slammed into Florida, and Harvey, which hit Texas.Scott declared a state of emergency in 35 counties in Florida. Trump approved an emergency declaration for Florida, permitting the federal government to provide resources and aid during the dangerous storm.“This is a small storm in an area that they never thought that it would be, and they said it grew into a monster,” Trump said Wednesday from the Oval Office.“We’re very, very prepared,” he said. “We have massive amounts of food and water that gets brought in immediately.”Trump said “it is not so easy” for some residents to evacuate.“Some of the areas are very poor. Not easy for a person without the necessary money to leave,” he said.Despite the storm, Trump said he plans to still attend his Wednesday night rally in Pennsylvania, telling reporters, “You have so many people already there and it’s sort of unfair to them.”Trump added that he will likely visit Florida on Sunday or Monday.After tearing through Florida, Michael will take aim on Georgia, which will be hit by damaging winds and downed power lines.Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday declared a state of emergency.“What you’re going to see is a storm moving very rapidly through Georgia, and it will maintain hurricane strength through southwest Georgia and central Georgia as it passes through later today and early tomorrow,” FEMA’s Long told “GMA.”In Alabama, where residents may see massive power outages, high winds and heavy rain, Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency statewide.North Carolina and South Carolina will likely see heavy rainfall, which could cause flooding in areas already damaged and rain-soaked by last month’s Hurricane Florence.A state of emergency was declared Wednesday in North Carolina, said Gov. Roy Cooper, as he warned that winds will be strong enough to down trees.The hardest rain is expected there Thursday to Thursday night, he said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
THE North Essequibo Cricket Committee-sponsored T20 competition commenced last Sunday, with Gunners, Young Achievers, Devonshire Castle and Walton Hall all in winners’ row.At the Imam Bacchus Sports ground, Young Achievers upset hosts, Bacchus Sports Club in the first of two matches played at the ground. Winning the toss and batting, Bacchus SC amassed 135-7 in 18 overs after a late start led to the reduction of the allotted 20 overs.Opener Navindra Persaud top-scored with 43 including 6×4 while former national Under-15 wicketkeeper/batsman Wayne Osborne supported with 34, laced with two sixes and four fours. Medium pacer Keith Blackman was accurate and claimed 3-14 from 4 overs for Young Achievers. In reply, critical innings from Tameshwar Dhanpaul 40 (3×6, 2×4) and Carlos Yhap 25 (2×6, 1×4) piloted the Youngsters to a memorable 4-wicket victory as they ended on 136-6 in the final over.In the second match, Gunners shot their way to an exciting four-wicket win over Charity SC. Batting first after winning the toss, Charity SC struggled to 112 all out in the 18th over with Noel Evans top-scoring with 47 (5×4, 2×6) and Keysho Ruplall 21 including three fours.Left-arm spinner Haiman Beharry claimed 4-14 from 4 overs and former Essequibo senior inter-county all-rounder Elroy Stephney 2-17 from 4 overs. In reply, Gunners held their nerves and eventually reached their target, ending on 113-6 in the final over with 6 runs needed.Opener Juma Lall made 34 (2×4) and Alex Collins hammered 32 (3×4, 1×6) to secure the win. Fast bowler Mukesh Singh bowled superbly to claim 4-15 from 4 overs and Hassan Rahim 2-10 from 3 overs, which temporarily dampened the bullets of the Gunners.In the other matches played at the Walton Hall ground, Devonshire Castle made light work of Sparta SC. Batting first, Devonshire Castle SC made 195-8 in the reduced 18 overs then dismissed Sparta SC for a paltry 92 in 16 overs.In the other encounter, Walton Hall SC arrested Police who were all out for 125 in 14 overs. Walton Hall then raced to their target of 126 for the loss of 4 wickets in 12 overs to win by 6 wickets.The competition continues this Sunday with the second round of matches in the round-robin competition. The top four teams after the preliminary round of matches will qualify for the playoffs and a chance to win monetary prizes and trophies in the final.