Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Michael heading for Florida panhandle

Satellite view of hurricane over Atlantic Ocean Enlarge The center of Hurricane Michael passed near the western tip of Cuba on Monday
Cary Marshall | 10 October, 2018, 01:00

The storm was located about 395 miles south of Panama City and had picked up speed to 12 mph.

The storm is forecast to be a Category 3 hurricane with maximum winds of 125 miles per hour as it makes landfall Wednesday afternoon.

Peaton says he's working closely with the National Weather Service to provide accurate information and protective measures to his county, which faces the Gulf of Mexico and is especially vulnerable to any flooding produced by Michael. The agency warned residents in Florida and Alabama of the risk of storm surges, damaging winds and flash flooding. He said people will "not be dragged out of their homes", but anyone who stays behind will be on their own once the storm hits. "That's the criticality of following directions".

Parts of Florida have been evacuated as Michael makes is way towards the Florida Panhandle, threatening at least 120,000 people.

Of the elderly and infirm patients, Scott had a blunt message for their caregivers: "If you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient".

"For everyone thinking they can ride this storm out, I have news for you: that will be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your life". It's as simple as that.

Scott declared a state of emergency for 35 Florida counties from the Panhandle to Tampa Bay, activated hundreds of Florida National Guard members and waived tolls to encourage those near the coast to evacuate inland. "Current projections show large swaths of storm surge greater than nine feet above ground forecast across the region". "That means the water will come miles in shore and could easily be over the roofs of houses", Scott said.

"Think about destruction we've seen before with storms like Hurricane Irma".

Hurricane Michael is continuing to strengthen, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center's (NHC) latest 11 a.m. update on October 9.

A life-threatening storm surge has been predicted along Florida's Gulf Coast, along with unsafe winds and heavy rainfall.

Michael also could dump up to a foot (30 centimeters) of rain over some Panhandle communities before it moves over Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia Wednesday night and Thursday. Storm surge rises rapidly Wednesday morning and afternoon.

Meanwhile, tropical storm warnings extend from Florida's Chassahowitzka River to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

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Hurricane Michael is gaining strength as it lashes Cuba's western tip and lumbers northward toward the U.S. In a Monday afternoon update, forecasters said winds have increased to almost 80 miles per hour (129 kph) as the storm moves north at almost 9 miles per hour (14 kph). It developed into a hurricane Monday.

Snapper Tams, a passenger on the Royal Caribbean ship, posted video footage of stormy seas, heavy rain, and harsh winds near the ship.

Shannon remembers how previous hurricanes knocked out power in Florida's capital city, so he knows what's possible with Michael.

"Let me be clear, Hurricane Michael is a monstrous storm", Florida Gov. Rick Scott said during a media conference Tuesday morning.

Emergency officials in both counties and statewide are closely watching the hurricane.

Other locations in the state are under voluntary evacuation.

Forecasters said parts of Florida's marshy, lightly populated Big Bend area - the crook of Florida's elbow - could see up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) of storm surge.

Conditions may begin to deteriorate as early as Tuesday evening on the north-eastern Gulf Coast.

Three Florida Panhandle counties have issued mandatory evacuation orders ahead of Hurricane Michael's expected landfall.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for residents of barrier islands, mobile homes and low-lying coastal areas in Gulf, Wakulla and Bay counties.

So the damage footprint of hurricane Michael will be very different and aside from the threat posed by a Category 3 landfall and storm surge the impacts inland from wind damage could be much more significant than seen with recent Florence.

Kemp said the bill totaled over $800 when she and her family fled Hurricane Irma's uncertain path a year ago.

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