Florida braces for Michael, now a category 4 storm

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 10, 2018

Florida will be impacted by a catastrophic storm surge and hurricane force winds today as Hurricane Michael reaches land. Scott declared a state of emergency in 35 Florida counties, mostly encompassing rural areas known for small tourist cities, beaches, wildlife reserves and Tallahassee, the state capital.

Hurricane Michael is growing stronger, expected to make landfall on Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told residents: "I know people are tired from Florence, but don't let this storm catch you with your guard down".

Bar owner Dorothy White puts away outdoor furniture at Ouzts Too bar prior to the arrival of Hurricane Michael on Tuesday near Newport, Fla.

The sinister-looking skull appeared briefly on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite images on Tuesday as the hurricane moved closer to the Florida Panhandle. Florida Governor Rick Scott called for residents along the coast to seek refuge immediately.

Michael's eye was about 140 miles from Panama City and 130 miles from Apalachicola, but moving relatively fast at 13 mph.

Florida residents are scrambling to flee their homes as Hurricane Michael bears down on the state.

Past year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Hurricane Harvey - causing a record-equaling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.

The Commodity Weather Group said Michael was not likely to cause much interruption to oil and gas production.

Forecasters in Alabama warned of possible tornados.

President Donald Trump, who was in Orlando delivering an address to a global association of police chiefs, said the federal government was ready and urged residents to be prepared for the worst.

The NHC said that it could hit anywhere along the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area. About 2,500 National Guard troops were deployed to assist with evacuations and storm preparations, and more than 4,000 others were on standby.

The storm, which formed off the coast of northern Honduras, has already killed at least 13 people in Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador after torrential rains triggered flash-flooding and landslides in Central America over the weekend.

Offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have evacuated workers, halting almost a fifth of daily production. US producers in the Gulf cut oil production by about 40 percent and natural gas output by 28 percent on Tuesday, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said.

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