Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Hurricane Michael menaces Florida after killing 13

Hurricane Michael menaces Florida after killing 13

The NHC said in a tweet that a "life-threatening" storm surge and flash flooding was likely in areas of the Florida Panhandle and described the storm as "dangerous".

It is expected to become a Category 3 storm by the time it makes landfall on the Florida Panhandle sometime Wednesday.

In a Facebook post Monday, the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office said no shelters would be open in Wakulla County because Michael was forecast to become a major hurricane with winds topping 111 miles per hour (178 kph).

The latest forecast track for Michael still brings the storm into Middle Georgia overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning.

A tropical storm watch is now in effect along the southeastern coast of the United States from Fernandina Beach, Florida to South Santee River, South Carolina.

"While the impacts are still uncertain, our area could experience increased wind activity and heavy rainfall, which could cause localized flooding and downed trees", Tallahassee officials said in a statement.

"We can take quite a bit of rain, but the folks in the Carolinas can't right now", Orrock said.

See Hurricane Michael from Space in These Satellite Images
The far-outer thunderstorm bands of Hurricane Michael will pass over the Florida Panhandle in the early morning hours Wednesday . The governor also told Florida hospitals and nursing homes to do all they can to assure the safety of the frail and elderly.

In fact, the situation is already looking so dire for a midweek landfall on the Florida panhandle that Governor Rick Scott has preemptively declared states of emergency in numerous counties while suspending his own Senate campaign to warn residents of impending danger.

"Alabama is once again in the path of a hurricane, but I know Alabamians will once again come together and be prepared for whatever Michael may bring", Governor Ivey said.

As of the 11 pm update from the National Hurricane Center, the storm has sustained winds of 90 miles per hour and gusts of 115 miles per hour.

"Alabamians should always be prepared, but everyone needs to make final preparations now to be ready for Hurricane Michael", Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings said. A slight risk of severe weather has been outlined for central Georgia for today and tonight for the threat of spin-up tornadoes.

The National Hurricane Center indicates that Tropical Storm Michael has strengthened and is now Hurricane Michael, centered over the northwest Caribbean Sea.

The sheriff's office says Wakulla County shelters were rated safe only for hurricanes below that threshold. The NHC issued a tropical storm watch for the area from the Suwannee River to Anna Maria Island in Florida, as well as the area from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Storm surge watches stretch all the way from Pensacola to Tampa, Florida, with maximum storm surge projections now exceeding twelve feet in some locations. On Sunday, CEMA urged residents to maintain awareness of the storm.

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