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'Potentially catastrophic' Hurricane Michael strengthens to Category 2, targets Florida

10 October 2018, 02:33 | Dale Webster

Ivey issues state of emergency for Alabama

FIRST ALERT Michael is now a hurricane expected to be major hurricane at landfall

"That means you need to make sure that you have backup generation power, or you shouldn't be taking care of the patients".

Scott declared a state of emergency for 35 counties, activating 1,250 National Guard troops in preparation for the storm. The storm could inundate more than one-fourth of that coast's dunes, causing flooding behind the protective dune line, said Kara Doran, leader of the USGS Coastal Change Hazards Storm Team. "Do not think you can survive it". Residents in these areas should follow advice given by local officials, and keep tabs on live updates, which are available from CNN. "This thing came up fast and it wasn't like Irma where we had quite a bit of time to prepare".

"Guess what? That's today", Graham said.

The storm, which hasn't officially been upgraded to a hurricane just yet, is now located approximately 90 miles east of Cozumel, Mexico.

"There's nothing between us and this storm but warm water and I think that's what terrifies us about the potential impacts".

A storm surge up to 12 feet is possible along portions of Florida's Gulf Coast from Steinhatchee to Apalachicola Bay.

Other Midlands counties were placed under a tropical storm watch Tuesday afternoon, including Lee County, Aiken County, Sumter County and Calhourn County.

A high risk of rip currents at Atlantic Coast beaches.

Governor Rick Scott warned residents to get out of the way, saying on Tuesday: "This is a monstrous storm".

The Weather Service has already issued a tropical storm warning for the coast along Georgia and SC nearly as far north as Georgetown.

The last major hurricane - Category 3 or above - to hit the Panhandle was Hurricane Dennis, which made landfall near Pensacola in 2005, according to hurricane center data.




As of 8 a.m. EDT Tuesday, Michael's top sustained winds had strengthened to 100 miles per hour as it headed north-northwest at 12 miles per hour.

Residents of the U.S. state of Florida are boarding up homes and seeking evacuation routes away from Hurricane Michael, forecast to slam ashore midweek with life-threatening waves, winds and rains. The storm was centered about 30 miles off the western tip of Cuba, and about 520 miles south of Apalachicola.

If the Hurricane Center's forecast track shifts further westward, that would be good news for the area, he said.

As Hurricane Michael barrels through the Gulf of Mexico and takes aim at Florida and the Carolinas, Richland and Lexington counties were placed under a Tropical Storm Watch, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A hurricane warning is in place from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida.

WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said Tuesday that the storm could cause power outages as its bands of rain and strong winds move into the Triangle.

From Cedar Key to Crystal River, Florida, 6 to 8 feet of storm surge is forecast.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced an extension Tuesday morning that will allow county supervisors to accept paper voter-registration applications when they reopen from the storm.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered in coastal and low-lying areas along the Panhandle, including at least four counties and parts of Panama City.

The sheriff's office says Wakulla County shelters were rated safe only for hurricanes below that threshold. But, he urged residents to stay "vigilant and ready".

"We've been through this before", Sally Crown said she closed the cafe where she works because the city was shutting off the sewer system in anticipation of the storm.



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