February 19, 2019

Hurricane Michael bears down on Florida Panhandle with record strength

10 October 2018, 08:09 | Dale Webster

Michael, A Threat to Maine?

Evacuations ordered as Florida braces for Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael strengthened to a category 3 storm and is due to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle today.

The National Hurricane Center has enacted hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge warnings for more than 300 miles of the Florida coast.

Michael was forecast to have the power to uproot trees, block roads and knock out power for days by the time it hits Florida on Wednesday.

"Weakening is expected after landfall as Michael moves across the south-eastern United States". This is a serious situation for the Florida Panhandle and downstream areas in southeastern Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

Residents and officials alike have said they were surprised by how quickly the storm came together, particularly compared to the much slower approach of recent hurricanes like Irma a year ago and Florence last month in the Carolinas.

That's the word from Storm Team 4 meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts, who added on Tuesday that the effects of Michael would most likely be limited to showers and wind on Thursday into Friday thanks to a cold front that's heading across the country toward the D.C. area and will fend off Michael before it gets past perhaps the Virginia Beach area.

More than 2 million Florida residents were under mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders as a hurricane warning was in effect from the Alabama state line to the Suwannee River mouth in Florida. In Franklin County Tuesday, southwest of Tallahassee, officials told Scott one of the islands in the county still had about 50 people who meant to ride out the storm despite the evacuation order issued there.

After it makes landfall, the storm is predicted to pass into Georgia, where Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday issued a state of emergency covering 92 counties - almost the entire lower two-thirds of his state.

Hurricane Michael is gaining strength as it barrels toward the Florida Panhandle. "You can not hide from storm surge, so get out if an evacuation is ordered".

Position: The hurricane was about 120 miles southwest of Panama City, Florida, as of 6 a.m. ET this morning, per CNN. Apalachicola Regional Airport recorded a wind gust of 56 miles per hour, the center said. This is an extremely unsafe Category 4 storm.

In addition to evacuation plans, Scott requested and was granted a pre-landfall emergency declaration from President Donald Trump, according to a statement from his offie.

"Hurricane Michael is a monstrous storm". There are specific protocols to its possible closure: Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki told CNN on Tuesday that officials will close the bridge when winds reach 50 miles per hour and stay that strong for longer than two minutes. Torrential downpours and flash flooding from the storm over the weekend caused 13 deaths in Central America. It's more than 10 feet off the ground, after all, and forecasters say the water in his area isn't supposed to rise that much.

While most of the city has cleared out under Florida Governor Rick Scott's strict request, some residents have stayed behind.

The latest storm surge map shows that some areas could experience 9 to 12 feet of storm surge. "We can not rebuild your life". He focused on islands off the coast whose bridges may close as the storm approaches.

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