As Hurricane Michael marches toward the Gulf Coast, and eventually, Georgia, several veterans in 11Alive’s newsroom brought up Hurricane Opal -- a 1995 hurricane that took a similar path.

Back then, the Category 4 storm smashed into the Florida panhandle with 150 mph winds before stalling out, leaving north and west Georgia dealing with devastating rains and flooding.

In the storm’s wake: nine dead and 20 inches of rain in some places.

Flash forward to 2018 – with the track of Michael not too far off. The storm is fast-moving storm, but not quite as powerful; it’s projected to be a Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds. It's also projected to take a path that keeps most of north Georgia on the "quiet" side of the storm.


11Alive Chief Meteorologist Chris Holcomb was working at here when Opal hit. He remembers the chaos it created in the newsroom.

"We had our power knocked out, and had to do our morning newscast on that day in our parking garage at 11Alive," Holcomb recalled.

Now, he's in the Florida panhandle with an eye on Michael.

Michael and Opal – two similar storms with, hopefully, two very different outcomes.