Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Florida Braces For 'Life-Threatening' Hurricane Michael To Hit Panhandle On Wednesday

Florida Braces For 'Life-Threatening' Hurricane Michael To Hit Panhandle On Wednesday

On its current track, Michael will move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico throughout Tuesday and then move inland over the Panhandle or Big Bend area of Florida on Wednesday, according to the hurricane center.

Hurricane Michael now has maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour with higher gusts, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 a.m. advisory.

Forecasters said parts of the Panhandle and Florida's marshy, lightly populated Big Bend area - the crook of Florida's elbow - could see 9 to 13 feet (2.7 to 4 meters) of storm surge.

Gillum said Monday that officials initially thought, "we will have outages and it will be inconvenient".

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. Following Hurricane Irma past year, 14 people died when a South Florida nursing home lost power and air conditioning. However, they warned the amount and location of surge remains somewhat uncertain depending on the storm's exact path.

Hurricane Michael is poised to slam Florida's Panhandle by Wednesday afternoon, threatening risky storm surges to low-lying areas ill-equipped to handle them - and officials are urging people to get out of the way now.

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With Florence still in mind, Michael may be making an appearance this week. The storm was centered about 390 miles (627 kilometers) south of Apalachicola and 420 miles (675 kilometers) south of Panama City, Florida. Forecasters expect Michael will be followed by the first true taste of fall weather in North Carolina this year, with sunny skies and high temperatures in the low 70s both Saturday and Sunday.

Forecasters and emergency managers continued to warn that flooding from Michael's storm surge remains a unsafe threat at landfall, since the bend in the coastline traps powerful waves.

Locally ordered evacuations of thousands of homes have begun, with 1250 National Guard soldiers aiding the process and more than 4000 troops on standby, Scott tweeted. Forecasters also warned spinoff tornadoes would also be a threat.

Michael was now packing winds of 120 miles per hour (195 kilometers per hour) as it aimed for the Florida panhandle, the finger-shaped strip of land on the Gulf of Mexico.

AccuWeather chief Joel Myers said Michael is forecast to roll through the region much more quickly than did the lingering Florence, which dumped up to 40 inches of rain in some areas.

The cone of probability for Hurricane Michael as of 1 a.m. EDT on October 9, 2018. "And if it gets much worse. we will go". Lines at gasoline stations grew as people left.

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Michael is expected to sweep up the East Coast, and tropical storm-force winds were projected to reach the state Thursday, according to the center's projections.

"You can not hide from storm surge, so. get out if an evacuation is ordered", he said.

He said: "Today is about life and safety". Doran leads the agency's Coastal Change Hazards Storm Team in St. Petersburg, Florida.

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal declared a preemptive state of emergency for 92 counties.

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

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum helped residents in Florida's capital fill sandbags as the monster storm loomed.

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