A broad swath of the Florida Panhandle and central Georgia are under siege as Hurricane Michael made landfall as a category 4 hurricane this afternoon, with 155 MPH winds, a deluge of rainwater and the potential for massive destruction and loss of life.
At least 3,000 people in Tallahassee are reported to be without electricity and those numbers are expected to climb.
Michael has already made history as one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever touch land in the region’s history.
Residents around the Panhandle had been encouraged to evacuate or head to waiting shelters. One police chief told residents in his town that they’d be on their own if they decided to stay.
“Right now there’s no emergency services,” said Bobby Varnes, police chief of Apalachicola, Florida. “There’s no ambulance service, no medical, so they’re pretty much going to be on their own until it lets up.”
Barnes said 60% of the people there opted to ride out the storm.
Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkins tweeted that people are “idiots” for hanging out at the beach, as has been reported that some daredevils have chosen to do. He urged people to stay off the beaches and the roadways.
“We have people who cannot exercise good sense. While it might be their constitutional right to be an idiot, it’s not their right to endanger everyone else! Their failure to be accountable becomes our problem! Get off roads & beaches!” – @SheriffAdkinson #HurricaneMichael— Walton Co. Sheriff (@WCSOFL) October 10, 2018