Thousands flee Florida 'monster' hurricane

10 October, 2018, 19:58 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • David Hayes boards up a window at this home in Panama City Fla. as Hurricane Michael approaches on Tuesday Oct. 9 2018

Hurricane Michael is projected to make landfall along the western Florida coast on Wednesday and pass through parts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Florida has issued mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders in at least 22 counties on the Gulf Coast, with Governor Rick Scott urging people yesterday to get out of the way of the "monstrous storm", CNN reported.

Hurricane Michael became a Category 3 storm with 120 miles per hour maximum sustained winds on October 9-ahead of making landfall along the Florida Panhandle, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The unexpected brute quickly sprang from a weekend tropical depression and grew swiftly into what could be one of the Panhandle's worst hurricanes in history, with destructive wind, up to a foot of rain and a life-threatening storm surge of up to 13 feet.

Florida residents are scrambling to flee their homes as Hurricane Michael bears down on the state.

A NOAA satellite caught this view of Hurricane Michael approaching Florida.

As of late Tuesday, the storm was located about 200 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Fla., and 220 miles south-southwest of Panama City as it moved north at 12 mph.


Michael was a Category 1 hurricane but could make landfall as a Category 3, and forecasters warned it could send down 10 to 30 centimetres of rain.

Residents who are considering leaving are encouraged to do so as early as possible. The devastation Michael will inflict on these communities over the next 24 hours will be extreme, regardless. "My greatest concern is not having electricity, and living on a fixed income, losing my food".

Heavy rains are forecast for the Carolinas, which were drenched by Hurricane Florence last month.

On Tuesday, Mr Scott said he activated 2500 Florida National Guard troops in preparation for the storm. He declared a state of emergency in 35 counties. USA producers in the Gulf cut oil production by about 40 percent and natural gas output by 28 percent on Tuesday, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely unsafe", Scott said Sunday after receiving a briefing at the State Emergency Operations Center. Some 17,000 utility restoration workers were also on call.

The last major hurricane to hit the Panhandle was Hurricane Dennis in 2005, according to hurricane center data.

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