Hurricane Michael could be Category 4 when it hits Florida

12 Octubre, 2018, 13:31 | Author: Enrique Watson
  • The Latest Michael strengthens into Category 2 hurricane

It is expected to come ashore as a major hurricane over the Florida Panhandle sometime Wednesday. Michael, which had caught many by surprise with its rapid intensification as it churned north over the Gulf of Mexico, was the most powerful recorded storm ever to hit the Panhandle.

A tropical storm watch is in effect along the southeastern coast of the USA from Fernandina Beach, FL, to South Santee River, SC, the Chassahowitzka River to Anna Maria Island in Florida, including Tampa Bay, and the Mississippi-Alabama border to the mouth of the Pearl River.

Producing heavy rainfall and strong winds, Michael is moving north-northwestward at 12 miles per hour.

Some regions of the U.S. are expecting 12in (30cm) of rain, with flash flooding possibly striking along a 300-mile stretch of Florida's coastline.

As of 8 a.m. EDT, Michael was moving north-northwest at 12 mph and positioned about 365 miles south of Apalachicola, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph.

"Today is the day". People should know their evacuation route in case they are asked to leave, and plan in advance how to contact family and friends.

A storm surge warning means "there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations", according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Wakulla County issued a dire warning, saying it won't open any of its shelters - because they're safety-rated only for storms up to Category 2 strength, WFSU reports.

Tolls were being suspended in the state's northwest region to ease the evacuation process, and the Florida Highway Patrol is sending almost 350 state troopers to the Panhandle and Big Bend areas, Scott said.

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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide state of emergency, saying on Twitter it was "in anticipation of wide-spread power outages, wind damage and debris produced by high winds & heavy rain associated with Hurricane Michael".

The storm's center is forecast to move northward over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area by Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States, the NHC said.

Tuesday afternoon, President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration for Florida. "It looks like another big one".

Mandatory evacuation orders went into effect in Panama City Beach and other low-lying areas in the storm's path.

"My greatest concern is that some people are just now starting to take this storm seriously and are evacuating", he told CNN.

"It is a monstrous storm and the forecast (keeps) getting more risky", Florida Governor Rick Scott said.

"We are catching some hell", said Timothy Thomas, who rode out the storm with his wife in their second-floor apartment in Panama City Beach.

As of 10 a.m., the hurricane watch for the coast of Alabama was discontinued. "You can not hide from storm surge, so get out if an evacuation is ordered".

"If you don't follow warnings from officials this storm could kill you", said Scott, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate in November's congressional elections.

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