Michael strengthens to Category 2 hurricane; expected to intensify

10 October, 2018, 07:44 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Panovich: Hurricane Michael will bring heavy rain to the Carolinas

From left, Haskel Johnson, Daniel Tippett, Jennifer Tippett and Nobuko Johnson filled sandbags at the Lynn Haven Sports Complex in Lynn Haven, Fla., Monday, to prepare for Hurricane Michael. The center of Michael is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday.

By 8 p.m. Monday, Michael's top sustained winds were around 85 miles per hour (140 kph) as it headed north at 12 miles per hour (19 kph). "We need to be ready for this", NHC Director Ken Graham said in an update Tuesday morning, urging people in the storm's path to finish preparations and evacuate if they're in an emergency area. The NHC has issued numerous hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge warnings for Florida and its neighboring states of Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama.

There will be no shelters open in Wakulla County, the sheriff's office warned on Facebook, because they are rated safe only for hurricanes with top sustained winds below 111 miles per hour (178 kph).

Hurricane Michael was expected to strengthen on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico, taking aim at the Florida panhandle, where residents were implored to get out of harm's way ahead of life-threatening waves, winds and rains.

About 3.7 million people were under hurricane warnings in the Panhandle and Big Bend regions, as well as parts of southeastern Alabama and southern Georgia.

8, 2018, showing the forecast beach erosion, overwash and inundation effects of Hurricane Michael's predicted landfall in the Florida Panhandle.

President Trump has approved Florida's declaration of emergency. "Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other risky conditions".

In Florida, nearly three dozen shelters opened or were prepared to open as the storm neared.

As rains from the powerful storm started to reach the Panhandle on Tuesday afternoon, about 15,000 workers lined up by Gulf Power, Duke Energy Florida, Florida Power & Light and public utilities have been positioned to respond to anticipated widespread outages.

Besides the unsafe storm surge, residents should also prepare for torrential rain and major flooding, Scott said, with 4 to 8 inches of rain expected and even 12 inches possible in some areas.

Panovich: Hurricane Michael will bring heavy rain to the Carolinas
Tropical storm warning issued for Midlands ahead of Hurricane Michael | News & Observer

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan warned residents during a news conference Monday evening that first responders won't be able to reach them during the storm or immediately after.

The companies and the Florida Municipal Electric Association also reported having at least 2,000 more workers from companies throughout the South and as far away as Texas, Nebraska and Indiana.

These storm surges can cause more damage from flooding than the winds. "Do not think you can survive it", Scott said.

Tens of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate in Wakulla, Gulf and Bay counties. The storm was implicated in the deaths of 80 Floridians, according to the Associated Press - including residents at a nursing home.

Scott extended a state of emergency to 35 counties and activated 2,500 National Guardsmen for hurricane duty.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has issued a state of emergency for 26 counties.

"You will see damage to infrastructure". "You can not hide from storm surge, so get out if an evacuation is ordered".

Peaton says he's working closely with the National Weather Service to provide accurate information and protective measures to his county, which faces the Gulf of Mexico and is especially vulnerable to any flooding produced by Michael.

Florida State University announced it was closing for the week on Tuesday, along with schools in Leon County, home to the state capital Tallahassee. Residents also stocked up on food, water and gas. The storm, now about 395 miles south of Panama City, was moving north-northwest at 12 mph.


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