Florida is braced for a hurricane 'catastrophe'

11 October, 2018, 12:42 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • 'We've Never Seen Anything Like It in the Panhandle': Monstrous Hurricane Michael Set to Strike Florida

On Oct. 8, the MODIS or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument that also flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Hurricane Michael when it was a Category 1 hurricane near the western tip of Cuba.

The National Hurricane Center's latest advisory on Hurricane Michael shows the storm has strengthened into a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour.

Hurricane Michael has grown into a Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds reaching 120 miles per hour, as it barrels toward northwestern Florida, making it a much stronger storm than Hurricane Florence was when it made landfall as a Category 1 storm drenching the Carolinas last month, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A red flag, warning of unsafe conditions, is seen on a pier in advance of Hurricane Michael in Pensacola, Florida, U.S. October 9, 2018.

"Guess what? That's today", Graham said.

Citing data from aircraft that flew in the storm, the hurricane center says Michael is becoming better organized and symmetrical as it moves north.

NOAA's National Hurricane Center or NHC noted on October 9 that life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall can be expected along the northeastern gulf coast as Michael continues to move toward landfall.

Overnight Tuesday, Florida Gov. Bill Nelson, said a "wall of water" could cause major destruction along the Panhandle. Cuban authorities said they evacuated about 400 people from low-lying areas. As a result, the northeastern Gulf Coast is undergoing mandatory evacuations - that includes the Florida Panhandle (stretching into Big Bend) as well as parts of southeast Alabama and southern Georgia.

Michael is expected to be the strongest hurricane, based on wind speeds, to make landfall in the continental USA since Irma in September of a year ago.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan bluntly advised residents choosing to ride it out that first-responders won't be able to reach them while Michael smashes into the coast. Scott said there was a "lot of roof damage" in the storm's path.


Floridians in counties where election offices closed Tuesday for Hurricane Michael will be able to register to vote the day those offices reopen.

Torrential downpours and flash-flooding over the weekend caused 13 deaths in Central America after Michael formed off the coast of northern Honduras. But the surging seawater could also create perilous problems far from the coast, raising rivers and bays to unsafe levels as it pushes as much as 10 to 15 miles inland.

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 35 counties along the Panhandle and Florida's Big Bend regions, mostly rural areas known for small tourist cities, beaches and wildlife reserves, and the state capital, Tallahassee.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal on Tuesday issued a state of emergency declaration for 92 counties in the state. "We haven t seen as robust of an evacuation response from the civilian population that we have seen in other storms". And isolated tornadoes were also possible.

After Michael left the Panhandle late Wednesday, Kaylee O'Brien was crying as she sorted through the remains of the apartment she shared with three roommates at Whispering Pines apartments, where the smell of broken pine trees was thick in the air.

"If you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient".

"I feel like that they should've provided something", she said.

Commercial boats leave the Destin Harbor in Destin, Florida, ahead of Hurricane Michael.

The speed of the storm - Michael was moving north 12 mph - gave many people a dwindling number of hours to prepare or flee before being caught up in damaging wind and rain. With Michael's winds projected to be even stronger, residents there were urged to evacuate inland.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Florida's Democratic nominee for governor, helped people fill sandbags.

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