Hurricane Michael has made landfall east of Panama City Beach in an area called Mexico Beach. The well defined eye-wall hits the coast as an extremely strong category 4 storm with sustained winds of 155 MPH. [Cat5 is 157mph] The area near Mexico Beach and Tyndall Air Force Base is taking a direct hit. Wind gauges near the AFB recorded wind speeds of 130mph prior to equipment failure.
All small residential structures on/near the Mexico Beach impact zone are suffering complete structural failure. Larger steel reinforced concrete buildings are under extreme pressure.
[Hurricane Center] At 100 PM CDT (1800 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Michael was located near latitude 30.0 North, longitude 85.5 West. Michael is moving toward the north-northeast near 14 mph (22 km/h). Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 155 mph (250 km/h) with higher gusts
On the forecast track, the core of Michael will move inland across the Florida Panhandle this afternoon, and across southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia tonight. Michael will move northeastward across the southeastern United States through Thursday night, and then move off the Mid-Atlantic coast away from the United States on Friday. (read more)
Here is a familiar video scene for those of us who have gone through this:
Those in the area of highest wind speed will engage the eyewall for approximately 45 minutes on the (front) northern side, 20 to 30 minutes inside the eye, and then the worst part comes with another 45 minutes from the backside.
Mexico Beach will look like Homestead, FL, after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Few structures can withstand sustained 155mph winds for two to three hours.