This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CMMI 1841667. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of StEER and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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StEER Releases EARR on Hurricane Michael

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

On October, 10 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall just south of Panama City, FL with the National Hurricane Center reporting a minimum pressure 919 MB and maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. Surface observations near the eyewall measured peak wind gusts of at least 130 mph at 10 m height, but gusts may have been higher as several observation stations were damaged and stopped reporting. Regardless of its place in history, Hurricane Michael caused catastrophic damage from high winds over a wide swath that stretched across much of the FL panhandle and inland into southeastern GA and beyond. Best estimates of the hurricane wind field indicate that design wind speeds for many structures were exceeded for a sizable region near Mexico Beach and further inland. Heavy storm surge inundated regions from Tyndall Air Force base down through Mexico Beach (8-12 ft storm surge inundation reported), Port St. Joe, Apalachicola, and the barrier islands. The extent of damage required a coordinated response from the structural engineering community, which began with the deployment of a Field Assessment Team (FAT-1) that was subdivided into an Advance Scout Team, a UAV team, and Door-to-Door (D2D) assessment teams. This Early Access Reconnaissance Report (EARR) provides an overview of Hurricane Michael, StEER’s event response, and preliminary findings based on FAT-1’s collected data. FAT-1 broadly assessed the performance of a representative subset of structural typologies in coastal and inland areas. Its teams conducted assessments between October 13-15, 2018. The extent of the assessments included Panama City Beach, Panama City and surrounding communities, Mexico Beach, Port St. Joe, Apalachicola, a few routes out to barrier islands in the region, and the inland communities of Blountstown and Marianna. Access the full report HERE.


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