Florida’s Poorest Areas Are In The Direct Path Of Hurricane Michael

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

Hurricane Michael will brutalize some of Florida’s poorest counties with heavy rain, life-threatening storm surges and wind speeds around 150 mph.

The counties of Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Madison and Washington have among the highest poverty rates in the state — between 17 to 32 percent. Florida’s statewide poverty rate is 14 percent, Earther reports. (RELATED: It’s A Worst Case Scenario As Hurricane Michael Nears Category 5 Strength Before Landfall)

Many people throughout Florida’s panhandle are living in mobile homes that might struggle to withstand the type of weather Hurricane Michael is bringing. In Madison County, the majority of residents live in trailers, county commissioner Alston Kelley told WGRZ.

“We have a lot of nice homes, but the majority of our homes in our county are mobile homes,” Kelley said. “And a lot of them are out in the woods, off main roads.”

“They very well may be without power for several days, depending on how hard we get hit,” Kelley added.

A storm with the size and intensity of Hurricane Michael is unprecedented in the northwestern part of Florida.

“[Hurricane Michael] is the strongest storm to hit the U.S., in terms of wind, since Hurricane Charley in 2004,” AccuWeather Founder and President Dr. Joel N. Myers said, according to AccuWeather.

“It’s crucial to note that a 150-mph storm has four times the force of a 110-mph storm. Damage will be catastrophic within a 50-mile stretch of the coastline where the eye makes landfall, centered around Apalachicola Bay,” Myers continued. “It will look like a bomb or tsunami hit the area.”

Hurricane Michael is expected to bring a storm surge as high as 12 feet in some areas along the coast. The waves of water, potentially the most dangerous part of the storm, may flow inland for miles over the low-lying ground, affecting places far away from Florida’s coast.

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