Patricia Mazzei, New York Times, Oct. 13, 2018
MARIANNA, Fla. — After carving a path of despair along the coast of Florida’s Panhandle, Hurricane Michael drubbed the state’s inland rural communities with such unexpected brutal force that it left residents and officials stunned — and facing a daunting recovery.
That a ferocious storm could blast north from the Gulf of Mexico and through a battery of states before it finally fled to the Atlantic Ocean early on Friday was always a possibility, but not one people here thought likely.
“There’s a group of us who have been warning about this for years,” said Rodney E. Andreasen, director of emergency management for Jackson County, where Marianna is the county seat. Mr. Andreasen said the area felt sustained winds of 130 to 140 miles per hour.
By the time Michael crossed into Georgia, it was still classified as a major Category 3 hurricane with a clearly defined and devastating eye.
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