Hurricane Michael is ‘extremely dangerous’ Category 4 storm hours before landfall

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 12, 2018

"Hurricane Michael is a monstrous storm, and the forecast keeps getting more unsafe", Gov. Rick Scott said at a morning news conference.

By early Tuesday morning, Michael's top sustained winds had risen to 100 miles an hour and by Tuesday night, forecasters believe its winds could top 111 miles an hour.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the hurricane was 395 miles (635 kilometers) south of Panama City, Florida, and 365 miles (590 kilometers) south of Apalachicola, Florida. It was the most powerful hurricane on record to hit the Panhandle.

The Republican governor, who is campaigning for a US Senate seat in the November congressional elections, warned of the potential for a deadly storm surge that could be as much as 12 feet (3.7 meters) above normal sea water levels.

"I just got a crew that came in that are staying also and they're in here helping me get everything buttoned up, tightened down, getting the food secure", Givens said.

Michael was located about 360 miles south of Panama City and was moving north at 12 mph.

"Today is the day".

A storm surge warning is in effect from the Okaloosa-Walton County line to the Anclote River in Florida.

More than 20 counties have been ordered to evacuate as the Category 2 storm continues to gain strength and has already disrupted oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.

While the swiftly moving storm is not expected to linger over Florida for long, widespread heavy downpours will likely track inland to flood-stricken areas of the Carolinas even as rain-gorged rivers there begin to recede, National Weather Service meteorologist Ken Widelski told the conference call.

Unlike Florence, which ravaged the eastern Carolinas only three weeks ago, Michael is expected to move rapidly once it bores inland to Georgia and SC.

As Hurricane Michael approaches the Gulf Coast, it is now being deemed a category 2 storm.

President Donald Trump approved a pre-landfall emergency declaration to provide federal money and help in Florida. As an example of that, we can look back to Florence, which saw a rapid drop in overall wind speed before it made landfall in North Carolina, but resulted in severe/fatal flooding anyways.

During a briefing Tuesday, Scott said the state's emergency response center is now active and includes a 24-hour response hotline. Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area by Wednesday. "You can not hide from storm surge, so get out if an evacuation is ordered".

"Don't think that you can ride this out if you're in a low-lying area", Nelson said on CNN.

In the Florida Panhandle and surrounding areas, people are frantically boarding up homes, filling sandbags and planning for evacuation routes away from the storm's projected strike zone. More than 80 deaths were linked to that storm, according to The Associated Press - including residents of a nursing home. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal declared a preemptive state of emergency for 92 counties.

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