Hurricane Michael Menaces Florida After Killing 13 in Central America

Terry Joseph
October 11, 2018

The National Hurricane Center reports Michael is forecast to be a risky major hurricane when it reaches the Gulf Coast on Wednesday with life-threatening storm surge possible along portions of the state, including Manatee County, which could see up to a four-foot storm surge. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for residents of barrier islands, mobile homes and low-lying coastal areas in Gulf, Wakulla and Bay counties.

The NHC warned that both could trigger deadly flooding, and that residents within the hurricane warning zone should likewise "prepare for life-threatening winds". Maximum sustained winds are at 35 miles per hour, once they hit 39 miles per hour, we can officially call this storm Tropical Storm Michael (This will happen today).

Michael is expected to intensify into a category 3 storm, a major hurricane, before making landfall near Panama City, Florida.

This would make it the strongest storm to hit the Panhandle of the state since Hurricane Dennis in 2005.

After striking Florida, Michael is forecast to move up the east coast on Wednesday and Thursday, plowing through the Carolinas, still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

Hurricane conditions, including heavy rainfall and flash flooding, are expected to lash Cuba on Tuesday, according to the NWS.

Meteorologists are projecting rainfall could exceed two to four inches on Wednesday and Thursday, with higher amounts possible in some areas.

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Florida declares emergency in 26 counties as Tropical Storm Michael approaches
As forecast, Michael would be the first Category 3 or higher hurricane to hit the Panhandle since Hurricane Dennis in 2005. A hurricane watch is now posted for the northeast Gulf Coast from the Alabama/Florida border to Suwanee River, Florida.

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Escambia through Franklin counties in Northwest Florida are included in the hurricane watch. Tropical storm warnings cover 8.5 million people in several states.

At Florida Gov. Rick Scott's request, President Trump approved a pre-landfall emergency declaration for the 35 counties where the governor already had declared a state of emergency because of the approaching storm.

As of the 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the storm is located about 520 miles south of Apalachicola, Florida.

"Hurricane Michael is forecast to be a category three storm when it makes landfall and the impact could be devastating", Scott tweeted.

After striking Florida, Michael is forecast to move up the East Coast on October 10 and October 11 plowing through the Carolinas, still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

Hurricane Michael strengthened into a Category 4 storm as it moved toward the Florida Panhandle, where it could blow ashore as the strongest storm to hit the United States this year. A hurricane watch has been posted for the northeast Gulf Coast from the Alabama/Florida border to Suwanee River, Florida, including Pensacola, Panama City and Tallahassee. Residents are being urged to evacuate inland.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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