Florida braces for lethal floods as hurricane nears

10 October, 2018, 01:38 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • S Hurricane Michael slams Florida Panhandle

The center warned heavy rain, risky winds and life-threatening storm surges were possible across Western Cuba on Monday as winds picked up speed on the Gulf Coast.

Hurricane Michael will be a major hurricane when it arrives at the Florida coast sometime Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center says.

After hitting Florida, the storm is forecast to move north-east on Wednesday and Thursday along the Atlantic Coast and batter the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

As hurricanes are subject to change forecasts, especially while the storm is still a few days from the area, continue to follow The Sumter Item online at https://www.theitem.com for information updated throughout the day. "We can rebuild your home, but we cannot rebuild your life". "Heavy rainfall from Michael could produce life-threatening flash flooding from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of Georgia and SC".

Mandatory evacuations are under way in Panama City Beach and across other low-lying parts of the Florida Panhandle as Hurricane Michael approaches.

Michael lashed western Cuba Monday with heavy rains and strong winds. Heavy rain, storm surge, and downed trees and power lines are also expected along Florida's western coast.

Of the elderly and infirm patients, Scott had a blunt message for their caregivers: "If you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient".

In a Facebook post Monday, the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office said no shelters would be open because Wakulla County shelters were rated safe only for hurricanes with top sustained winds below 111 miles per hour.


Hurricane Michael suddenly became news on Monday after eclipsing its former tropical-storm status while lashing Cuba. "Weakening is expected after landfall as Michael moves through the southeastern United States" Wednesday night and Thursday.

Gov. Rick Scott has declared an emergency in 35 counties across North Florida, to allow officials to prepare for the storm. Because he owns two businesses in the area, Givens, who lives inland, said he was not evacuating.

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 National Hurricane Center, citing Michael's unsafe trifecta of storm surge, flash flooding and winds, described the seventh hurricane of the Atlantic season as "life-threatening", and the Florida Division of Emergency Management warned on Twitter of the storm's "rapid intensification" ahead of landfall.

The first rains from Michael already started to soak the Florida Keys on Monday.

"We are running out of time", the Republican governor said on Twitter. "This storm has the potential to bring devastating impacts to communities across the Panhandle and Big Bend and every family must be prepared". "Take care of them", Scott said.

The governor has declared states of emergency for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy, Citrus, Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Alachua, Union, Bradford and Baker counties. The latest European model shows the storm intensifying - possibly to a Category 3 - before it crests Florida's coast near Tallahassee.

Farther inland, in the state capital, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Florida's Democratic nominee for governor, helped people fill sandbags. Areas closer to the beach will experience the strongest winds, which will turn trees and other loose items into unsafe projectiles.

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