Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday with potentially catastrophic winds of 155 mph, the most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in nearly 50 years.
Broadcast journalists, storm chasers and residents hunkering down captured dramatic video as Michael blew ashore near Mexico Beach, a tourist town about midway along the Panhandle. The Panhandle is a lightly populated, 200-mile stretch of white-sand beach resorts, fishing towns and military bases.
These videos show how powerful Michael was as it made landfall:
Storm chasers forced to flee vehicle
Editor's note: Video includes some swearing.
In Port St. Joe, two storm chasers had to abandon their vehicle and find shelter as over 100 mph wind gusts and heavy rain made it impossible for them to drive.
“We’re in trouble. We’re in bad trouble, Steven,” said storm chaser Brett Adair, with LiveStorms Media, in a video that was being broadcast live on Facebook by NBC 15 in Mobile, Alabama.
Adair’s wife posted on Facebook saying her husband was safe. “Things happen to even the most experienced chasers,” said Rachael Adair.
Michael tears away tree limbs and causes buildings to collapse
Hurricane Michael's winds caused structures to collapse and blew dangerous debris through the streets in the Florida Panhandle's coastal towns.
Local TV station loses power; wind blows off parts of roof
At the Panama City news station WJHG/WECP, reporter Tyler Allender tweeted that his colleagues were taking shelter in a hallway in the middle of the building because "this wind is SERIOUS."
Allender said they were sitting in the dark because their building had lost power.
Wind and rain make it impossible to see in Panama City Beach
An AccuWeather meteorologist captured Hurricane Michael's intense eye wall on the east side of Panama City Beach.
A store's awning is blown completely off
A store lost its awning after winds ripped it from its foundation in Panama City, Florida.
Contributing: Associated Press