Here is part of MOB’s historical disco on Opal. On the morning of October 2nd, Opal intensified to a hurricane while centered 150 miles west of Merida, Mexico. By this time, Opal began to drift north as a large upper level trough moved across the central United States. Opal then accelerated to the north northeast on October 3rd and 4th and underwent a period of rapid intensification - strengthening into a strong Category 4 hurricane early on October 4th. The minimum central pressure of 916 mb with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph occurred when the hurricane was centered about 290 miles south southwest of Pensacola, FL around 5am on October 4th. Rapid Intensification and Evacuations Anybody living along the northern Gulf Coast in 1995 will tell you they heard some unsettling news when they woke up the morning of October 4th. Gulf coast residents went to bed on October 3rd knowing that Opal was a Category 2 storm with maximum winds of 100 mph. By 4am the next morning, the winds had increased to 135 mph. By 10am, Opal had maximum sustained winds of an alarming 150 mph, which is just below Category 5 intensity. Upon learning this, thousands of residents decided to evacuate at the last minute, which resulted in grid lock on many major highways, including Interstate 65. Many of these residents ended up seeking refuge in local shelters as Opal closed in on the western Florida Panhandle. .