Florida Braces For 'Life-Threatening' Hurricane Michael To Hit Panhandle On Wednesday
10 October, 2018, 08:30 | Author: Charlene Valdez
By that time, Michael is forecast to have winds of 125 miles per hour.
As of the 4pm CDT advisory Monday evening, Michael was a category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour. The system has now graduated to Category 2 hurricane status and is expected to reach Category 3 (with winds in excess of 110 mph) when it makes its US mainland landfall on Wednesday afternoon.
A hurricane warning is in effect from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River. Some southern Alabama counties were under a tropical storm watch Monday afternoon.
Past year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Hurricane Harvey - causing a record-equalling $125bn in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.
Tropical storm warning issued for Midlands ahead of Hurricane Michael | News & Observer
Hurricane Michael, pictured in a satellite image taken on October 8, 2018, when it was still a tropical storm, could produce life-threatening flooding.
The storm is on track to become a hurricane on Monday, bringing heavy rain to the western tip of Cuba, before making landfall on the northeastern Gulf Coast on Wednesday.
Residents of barrier islands, mobile homes and low-lying coastal areas in Gulf, Wakulla and Bay counties were ordered to evacuate by late Monday or early Tuesday.
The storm is strengthening as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico, and the hurricane is predicted to be a major storm when it hits the Florida panhandle on Wednesday.
"Rainfall is the big concern", said Panovich. A storm surge up to 12 feet is possible along portions of Florida's Gulf Coast from Steinhatchee to Apalachicola Bay.
Hurricane Michael is expected to reach Florida's Panhandle region sometime Wednesday, before slowly moving through the bottom half of the southeastern United States over the next day. "The state is not taking this storm lightly and neither should any family".
"If they decide to stay, there will be a point where we can't get to them", Couch said.
Michael wasn't quite done wreaking havoc in the Caribbean.
FEMA administrator Brock Long said the agency was prepared for the storm in all the states likely to feel Michael's impact.
By the time Michael makes it to the Carolinas, the storm is going to be flying, which should help lower the flash flood potential, but Panovich still believes there could be flooding in the mountains and eastern Carolinas.
Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 26 counties along the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend.
A storm surge warning is also in effect from Florida's Okaloosa/Walton County Line to the Anclote River. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (56 kilometers) from the storm's center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (282 kilometers).
"It is imperative that you heed the directions of your State and Local Officials".
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Florida's Democratic nominee for governor, had planned to campaign in South Florida on Monday and Tuesday, but instead threw himself into helping his city's residents fill sandbags and make other preparations.
Some feared significant tree damage and power outages in Florida's capital city.
The storm is expected to unleash coastal storm surges of up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) along Florida's Panhandle and dump as much as a foot (30 cm) of rain across Florida, Georgia and SC, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported.
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