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Hurricane Michael: Even Worse Than We Thought

The NOAA says it was really a rare Category 5 hurricane
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2019 12:16 PM CDT
In this Oct. 11, 2018 file photo, a boat sits amidst debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
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(Newser) – Hurricane Michael was "unimaginable." It crushed entire Gulf Coast communities and killed dozens when it struck Florida last October. Now we know it was also the worst hurricane to hit America in 26 years, the BBC reports. Initially designated Category Four, Michael was upgraded Friday to Category Five after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association found that its winds neared 160mph. Assessing a hurricane's top wind speeds quickly via weather stations is hard because the stations are often damaged during harsh storms, per the Weather Network. Before Michael, the last Category Five storm to strike America was Andrew in 1992. (See what happened to 284 people who rode out Michael in a Florida city.)

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