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Putting Michael in perspective: South Florida and Panhandle history

Putting Michael in perspective: South Florida and Panhandle history (WPEC)

Unprecedented, never before seen, unlike any other— these are just some of the ways meteorologists are describing Hurricane Michael.

South Florida has experienced some Category 4 and 5 hurricanes.

But this is a first for the Panhandle.

Looking back in South Florida history, the area has seen its share of major hurricanes Category 3 or higher.

The 1928 Hurricane ravaged Palm Beach County, leaving some 3,000 people dead in the Glades and downtown West Palm Beach in shambles.

There was the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, the most intense storm that ever hit the United States.

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew tore a path of destruction across southern Miami-Dade County.

And more recently in 2005, Hurricane Wilma came ashore as a Category 3 storm before eventually reaching Palm Beach County and brushing the Treasure Coast.

While the Panhandle has witnessed Category 3 hurricanes, Michael is the first to reach Category 4.

Hermine, a Category 1 storm, visited the Panhandle in 2016— the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in more than a decade. Before that in 2005, Dennis made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane in the western Panhandle.

Hurricanes Ivan, Opal and Eloise were also Category 3 storms when they hit the Panhandle.

But Michael became the Panhandle’s first Category 4 hurricane.

In fact, Michael is the first major hurricane to track into Georgia since 1898.

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