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12 October 2018, 07:48 | Dale Webster
'We've Never Seen Anything Like It in the Panhandle': Monstrous Hurricane Michael Set to Strike Florida
Michael is also predicted to be the strongest hurricane based on wind speed to hit continental USA landfall this year. The National Hurricane Center forecast remains its Category 3 status until that point.
As Hurricane Michael gains strength and heads toward Florida, some are seeing an eerie sight popping up in satellite images from the center of the storm.a skull. They're also concerned about flooding rains.
Satellite imagery of Hurricane Michael as it makes landfall at Florida about 1pm local time (6am NZT).
Forecasters say rainfall in Georgia is expected to range from 3-5 inches; with locally higher amounts of up to 7 inches.
Florence made landfall last month as a Category 1 storm, killing dozens in the Carolinas and Virginia.
"The threat for tornadoes will increase late tonight into Wednesday over parts of the Florida Panhandle, the northern Florida Peninsula, and southern Georgia", the hurricane center said. Tropical storm warnings cover 8.5 million people in several states.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency for her state Tuesday because of expected wide-spread power outages and wind damage.
Florida Governor Rick Scott, who has suspended his Senate campaign due to the impending storm, warns that this hurricane is "going to be historic" and cause more destruction than the state's panhandle has seen in decades.
State Emergency Management Director Wes Maul, in talking to his staff a few minutes after Scott's news conference, expressed concern that county shelters have had to quickly set up because Michael formed in a short period of time over the weekend.
"Storm surges, in general, used to be a leading cause of fatality with hurricanes, but now - because of evacuations and getting the word out so far in advance - [the number of deaths] has gone down", Joel Cline, a tropical program coordinator with the National Weather Service, previously told Fox News.
Michael was about 420 miles south of Panama City, Fla. and 390 miles south of Apalachicola, Fla., the NHC said in a 4 a.m. advisory Tuesday.
Hurricane Michael is now moving north-northwest over the southern Gulf of Mexico at 12 m.p.h.
As of the 4 p.m. advisory Tuesday, Michael had winds of 120 miles per hour.
President Donald Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said the country was very well prepared for the hurricane, adding it was much bigger than had been expected.
The storm's center and where it makes landfall with its destructive winds represent just one of several concerns. "Do not think you can survive it", Scott said. The center of Michael's eye is then expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night and Thursday, and move off the Mid-Atlantic coast away from the United States on Friday.
A hurricane warning was in effect for a more than 300-mile (480-km) stretch of coastline from the Florida-Alabama border to the Suwannee River in Florida.
Meanwhile, tropical storm watches were in effect in some coastal areas of Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and SC. As what is predicted to be a catastrophic storms whips towards the Gulf Coast, we're sharing all of the vital information you should know.
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