NWS: Post-Michael report released for South Georgia

Michael then moved rapidly inland, causing widespread wind damage along its path. Hurricane Michael was the strongest hurricane on record to make landfall along the Florida panhandle, as well as the first major hurricane (Category 3+) to directly impact Georgia since the 1898. In Southwest Georgia, wind gusts as high as 115 mph were recorded in Donalsonville. / NWS

Hurricane Michael made landfall as an unprecedented high-end Category 4 Hurricane for the Florida Panhandle region with maximum sustained wind speed of 155 mph and a minimum pressure 919 mb. The storm caused catastrophic damage from wind and storm surge, particularly in the Panama City Beach to Mexico Beach areas.

Michael then moved rapidly inland, causing widespread wind damage along its path. Hurricane Michael was the strongest hurricane on record to make landfall along the Florida panhandle, as well as the first major hurricane (Category 3+) to directly impact Georgia since the 1898. In Southwest Georgia, wind gusts as high as 115 mph were recorded in Donalsonville.

Peak wind gust measurements around Southwest Georgia:

  • Incomplete: Donalsonville (Seminole County) - 67 mph
  • Incomplete: Blakely (Early County) - 48 mph
  • Incomplete: Thomasville (Thomas County) - 48 mph
  • Incomplete: Albany (Dougherty County) - 74 mph
  • Incomplete: Fitzgerald (Ben Hill County) - 46 mph
  • Incomplete: Lee County High School - 51 mph
  • Incomplete: UGA Tifton WeatherStem (Tift County) - 51 mph
  • Incomplete: Sunbelt AG Expo WeatherStem (Colquitt County) - 44 mph
  • Alapaha (Berrien County) - 49 mph
  • Moultrie (Colquitt County) - 48 mph
  • Valdosta (Lowndes County) - 47 mph
  • Moody Air Force Base (Lowndes County) - 48 mph
  • Tifton (Tift County) - 59 mph
  • Cordele (Crisp County) - 69 mph
  • Americus (Sumter County) - 44 mph
  • Plains (Sumter County) - 45 mph
  • Arabi (Crisp County) - 76 mph
  • Douglas (Coffee County) - 35 mph
  • Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany (Dougherty County) - 66 mph
  • Arlington (Baker County) - 53 mph
  • Attapulgus (Decatur County) - 69 mph
  • Cairo (Grady County) - 67 mph
  • Camilla (Mitchell County) - 62 mph
  • Dawson (Terrell County) - 63 mph
  • Dawson HHREC (Terrell County) - 69 mph
  • Donalsonville Airport (Seminole County) - 115 mph
  • Moultrie (Colquitt County) - 56 mph
  • Sasser (Terrell County) - 69 mph
  • Seminole State Park (Seminole County) - 79 mph
  • Shellman (Randolph County) - 63 mph
  • Steam Mill (Seminole County) - 83 mph
  • Tifton (Tift County) - 67 mph
  • Tifton-Bowen (Tift County) - 68 mph
  • Ty Ty (Tift County) - 60 mph
  • Newton (Baker County) - 47 mph

In terms of the rainfall, a Flash Flood Watch was in effect during the event and a few Flash Flood Warnings had to be issued. The highest rainfall value across the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, Southwest Georgia and southeast Alabama as of was 6.66 inches in Calhoun County, Georgia.

Rain total measurements for Southwest Georgia:

  • Dickey (Calhoun County) - 6.66 inches
  • Morgan (Calhoun County) - 6.30 inches
  • Elmodel WMA (Baker County) - 5.07 inches
  • Hilton (Early County) - 5.06 inches
  • Scotts Ferry (Calhoun County) - 5.05 inches
  • Starksville (Lee County) - 4.77 inches
  • Philema (Lee County) - 4.56 inches
  • Americus (Sumter County) - 4.17 inches
  • Mitchell County Airport - 4.11 inches
  • Elmodel WMA - 4.05 inches
  • Chason (Calhoun County) - 4.02 inches
  • Jordan Place (Lee County) - 3.86 inches
  • Haggard Mill (Baker County) - 3.49 inches
  • Attapulgus (Decatur County) - 3.42 inches
  • Dawesville (Thomas County) - 3.25 inches
  • Hillsdale (Tift County) - 3.08 inches
  • Bainbridge (Decatur County) - 2.98 inches
  • Irwinville (Irwin County) - 2.85 inches
  • Hoggard Mill (Mitchell County) - 2.85 inches
  • Brinson (Decatur County) - 2.79 inches
  • Newton (Baker County) - 2.72 inches
  • East Albany (Dougherty County) - 2.68 inches
  • Chastain (Thomas County) - 2.55 inches
  • Pridgen (Coffee County) - 2.19 inches
  • Tifton (Tift County) - 2.14 inches
  • Adel (Cook County) - 2.05 inches
  • Empress (Brooks County) - 2. 00 inches

Storm impacts by county:

Baker - 47 homes received damage. Severe damage was sustained to timber stands. 100 percent of customers lost power with some also losing water. One indirect injury was sustained to a male using a chainsaw during recovery. Damage assessments are ongoing.

Ben Hill - 75 percent of customers lost power. Cost assessment is ongoing.

Berrien - One house sustained damage. Damage costs were approximately $10,000. Power outages were limited across the county.

Brooks - Property damage was limited. Impacts were mainly downed trees and damage to crops. 100 percent of customers lost power. Voluntary evacuation for the county but the number of residents that evacuated is unknown. Assessments are ongoing.

Calhoun - Damage assessments are ongoing.

Coffee - 200 sheltered from mobile homes. Minor damage around the county with numerous trees blown down and power outages. A chicken house in Pridgen was blown down. One mobile home had a tree fall on it with limbs piercing a child's bedroom in Bushnell. Also in Bushnell, a back office behind a convenience store had its roof blown off and was laid down over the roof of the store. The store was operational the next day. Unconfirmed reports of major roof damage to a church in Ambrose, but the church could not be found during the post-storm survey.

Colquitt - Over 500 trees downed from the hurricane. 50,000 customers lost power. Estimated costs are over one million dollars.

Cook - One mobile home was destroyed when a tree fell on it. In addition, two homes were damaged from a small tree falling on them. Numerous trees and power lines were down.

Crisp - Widespread trees and power lines reported down throughout the county. Damage to multiple structures throughout the county. 76 mph wind gust from UGA weather station near Hardin Farm in Arabi.

Decatur - Damage to many homes. Catastrophic damage was sustained to timber stands with some areas in the western part of the county seeing 95 percent of timber damaged per acre. 100 percent of customers lost power during the event. Voluntary evacuation orders were in place with 30 people in local shelters. Damage assessments are ongoing.

Dougherty - Multiple reports of trees down in Albany. 3,003 residential structures sustained at least some damage with 1,701 of these minor, 532 major and 49 totally destroyed. There was 300,000 cubic yards of debris in the unincorporated portion of the county. Some of the pecan orchards were completely destroyed and severe damage was noted to the timber stands. 100 percent of customers lost power during the event. Approximately 400-500 people were sheltered. A dozen injuries were sustained during storm clean up. Assessments are ongoing.

Early - Estimated 30 homes are uninhabitable due to tree damage. In addition, cotton and pecan crops sustained significant damage. Catastrophic damage to timber stands with some ares in the eastern and southern parts of the county having 95 percent of the timber damaged per acre. 100 percent of customers were without power during the storm. One female was injured when a tree fell on a house. A voluntary evacuation order was issued and 103 individuals used the comfort station that was opened.

Grady - 100 percent of customers were without power; some of the outages lasting up to two weeks. There was substantial loss to cotton and pecan crops. Number of evacuations is unknown, however, 200 individuals used a comfort station overnight. Damage assessments are ongoing.

Irwin - Reports of numerous trees and power lines down. Minor residential damage. 75 percent of customers lost power. Approximately 25-30 residents utilized comfort stations. Damage assessments are ongoing.

Lanier - Damage was limited across the county and mainly had a few trees fall across county roads. One limb did affect a house. 50 people were sheltered. Less than ten percent of customers lost power.

Lee - All roads had trees and power lines down on them. 787 structures were affected, 1366 structures has minor damage, 214 structures had major damage and 53 structures were destroyed. In addition, three fire stations sustained damage. 100 percent of customers lost power. Damage cost assessments are ongoing.

Lowndes - Six homes sustained minor damage. 50 trees were downed. 10,000 customers were without power. Damage estimate is around $300,000.

Miller - 100 percent of customers lost power during the storm. There was a voluntary evacuation of mobile homes and substandard housing. 165 people were sheltered. 80 percent of homes were estimated to have received damage. Catastrophic damage was sustained to timber stands with some areas seeing 95 percent timber damaged per acre. Most of the cotton crop was lost. Damage assessment is ongoing.

Mitchell - 100 percent of customers lost power during the storm. 84 chicken houses were blown down. There was significant agricultural loss to timber, cotton and pecan groves. Damage assessments are still ongoing. One person was killed during storm clean up when a tree branch snapped and fell onto a male who was using a chainsaw. During the storm, a roof collapsed and trapped a male in his house. Camilla firefighters were able to rescue the male and take him to the hospital for treatment.

Randolph - 300 homes were damaged with 50 sustaining major damage. 35-80 percent of the pecan trees were damaged. Cotton yield decreased from 1,200-1,300 acres before the storm to 300 acres after the storm (75 percent decrease). 100 percent of customers were without power. Damage costs were estimated around $770,000. Damage assessments are ongoing. Two injuries were reported, one due to a tree that fell on a car and the second due to a person being pushed over by the wind.

Seminole - Mesonet site from Georgia Weather in Donalsonville measured a wind gust of 115 mph. 100 percent of customers lost power. 99 percent of homes sustained at least some damage. Catastrophic damage to timber stands with some areas having 95 percent of timber damaged per acre. Most of the cotton crop is a total loss. Damage assessments are ongoing. An 11-year-old female was killed in the storm when the car port flew into her parents house striking her in the head.

Sumter - Across the county, four dwellings were destroyed with 16 sustaining major damage, 58 had minor damage and 53 others were affected. Water damage was also reported in the Public Works building. The Rylander Theater also reported damage to the roof and water damage in the basement.

Terrell - Significant roof damage was sustained. 6,000 trees were downed. Cotton crops were devastated. Most of the county lost power, however, exact numbers are unknown. An estimated seven million dollars in costs for debris removal. Two indirect fatalities occurred and two injuries were recorded - one of which was due to a tree limb that entered a vehicle.

Thomas - Three homes were destroyed, 17 suffered major damage, 11 sustained minor damage and severe others were also affected.

Tift - Six homes were destroyed, 30 sustained major damage and 100 received minor damage. Several businesses were also impacted. Total crop damage was estimated at 21 million dollars, excluding timber. Debris clean up costs were estimated around $300,000. 95 percent of customers lost power. 1,000 people evacuated or stayed in a comfort station.

Turner - Roofs were torn off homes, resulting in water damage. Barns and farm structures were damaged or destroyed. Much of the cotton crop was lost. 90 percent of customers lost power. Number of evacuations is unknown.

Worth - Damage assessments are ongoing.


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