ST. LOUIS, MO — Hurricane Michael made landfall this afternoon in the Florida Panhandle with winds over 150 miles per hour. The National Hurricane Center describes the category 4 storm as "potentially catastrophic" and could leave some locations uninhabitable for weeks or months. Officials say the window to evacuate has closed for many and those who remain in their homes need to seek elevated shelter.
FOX 2's Dan Gray talked with a Florida business executive who is stuck in St. Louis because of the hurricane. Jeff Orbin arrived in Missouri last week to play in a golf tournament in the Lake of the Ozarks. He was supposed to fly out of St. Louis and back to Florida today. He can't get home because the Destin and Panama City airports are closed.
Orbin has been on the phone all day getting updates on his business Emerald Coast Marine with locations in Niceville and Panama City Florida as vice president of marketing and development for the marina. He says they had more than 350 boats to get into a warehouse and out of the storm. Jeff said their Niceville location doesn't appear to have serious damage. But the manager of the Panama City store told Jeff by cell phone he saw TV video that showed that Emerald Coast Marine store was heavily damaged.
Jeff Orbin says his boats range in price from about $20,000 to a million and a half dollars. He won't know the extent of the damage until he is able to get back to Florida. He is set to fly out of St. Louis tomorrow.