The Latest: Florida mayor not surprised Michael was a Cat 5
MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Michael being upgraded to a Category 5 storm (all times local):
The mayor of the Florida city that was ground zero for Hurricane Michael says he’s not surprised by news that it’s been reclassified as the strongest possible storm.
Mexico Beach Mayor Al Cathey says he and others who rode out the Oct. 10, 2018, storm thought they were dealing with a Category 5 storm all along. And he says the change in status doesn’t equate to additional federal funding to help in the vast recovery efforts.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday that the storm’s intensity when it hit the Gulf Coast was actually 5 mph (8 kph) faster than originally thought. That puts the storm at just over the 157 mph (252 kph) threshold of a Category 5.
The remote city along what’s referred to as Florida’s Forgotten Coast is struggling to rebuild. Cathey says there were some 2,700 structures before the storm. Today, less than 500 remain, and many of those are severely damaged.
He says city needs state, local and federal help to rebuild.
Weather forecasters have posthumously upgraded last fall’s Hurricane Michael from a Category 4 storm to a Category 5.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the storm’s upgraded status Friday, making Michael only the fourth hurricane on record to hit the U.S. as a Category 5.
NOAA says National Hurricane Center scientists conducted a detailed post-storm analysis for Hurricane Michael, which made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, on Oct. 10, 2018. They’ve determined the storm’s estimated intensity at landfall was actually 5 mph (8 kph) faster than last year’s estimate, putting the storm just barely over the 157 mph (252 kph) threshold.
NOAA says the change is of little practical significance. Both categories are considered catastrophic. Michael was directly responsible for 16 U.S. deaths and about $25 billion in damage.