One year later: Meteorologist Kara Thompson looks back on Hurricane Michael in Virginia


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — On October 10, 2018, Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a Category 5 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph.

Michael had weakened into a tropical storm by the time it started to impact Southwest Virginia. Some of the rain started to fall on Wednesday, October 10, but a majority of the rainfall arrived on October 11. Even when

Flash Flood Warnings were issued during the 10th and the 11th, in which officials urged residents to move to higher ground due to dangerous flash flooding.

On Thursday, October 11 at 2:43 p.m., an Flash Flood Emergency was issued for Roanoke. A Flash Flood Emergency is a life-threatening situation and is issued when catastrophic damage from a flash flood is happening or will happen soon. Another Flash Flood Emergency was also issued for Danville at 4:14 p.m.

Several people were rescued from their stranded cars and homes. There were five deaths reported in Virginia related to Tropical Storm Michael. 

The Dan River crested at 31.8 feet late Thursday due to the heavy rainfall. This is the highest level recorded since Hurricane Fran in 1996, when the river crested at 28.65 feet.

Tropical Storm Michael also downed trees and caused power outages in much of Virginia. More than 25,000 Appalachian Power customers were without power after the storm.

Michael was the fourth Category 5 hurricane to impact the United States. It is also the third-most intense Atlantic Hurricane in terms of pressure to make landfall in the contiguous United States.


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