300 miles of Florida coastline on hurricane alert

10 October, 2018, 01:03 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a view of Tropical Storm Michael lower right churning as it heads toward the Florida Panhandle

Up to 12 inches of rain could fall in Florida's Panhandle and Big Bend, southeastern Alabama and southern Georgia, while parts of the Carolinas - recently deluged by Hurricane Florence - and southern Virginia eventually could see up to 6 inches, the hurricane center said.

Scott said his main concern from the rapidly developing hurricane is storm surge, which the National Weather Service estimates could reach eight to 12 feet between Indian Pass in Gulf County and Cedar Key in Levy County and top six feet from Crystal River in Citrus County to the Okaloosa-Walton County Line.

The system has now graduated to Category 2 hurricane status and is expected to reach Category 3 (with winds in excess of 110 mph) when it makes its US mainland landfall on Wednesday afternoon.

Kemp said the bill totaled over $800 when she and her family fled Hurricane Irma's uncertain path past year. It strengthened to a Category 3 storm late Tuesday afternoon. Residents of this Florida panhandle city were busy Monday readying themselves for Hurricane Michael, which is predicted to make landfall somewhere around Panama City, Fla.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says the rapid rise of Hurricane Michael led city officials to hold a "sobering" discussion about the potential impact the storm will have on the area.

Several cities in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina are in the path of this storm, beyond its landfall on the coast.

"Today it is about life and safety", Gillum said.

The NHC warned that the waves and rain could trigger deadly flooding, and that residents within the hurricane warning zone should likewise "prepare for life-threatening winds".

Besides the risky storm surge, residents should also prepare for torrential rain and major flooding, Scott said, with 4 to 8 inches of rain expected and even 12 inches possible in some areas.

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Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday that Michael isn't expected to hit his state as hard as Florence did last month, but people shouldn't let their guard down, even if they're suffering from cleanup fatigue. Sustained winds peak around 35 miles per hour with gusts to 45 miles per hour or higher, depending on Michael's track, Wednesday evening.

"It's been dry for the last couple of weeks, so there's plenty of places for that to run off to", he said. By Friday (Oct. 12), the storm will make its way out over the northern Atlantic, NOAA is now predicting.

Scott declared a state of emergency for 35 counties, activating 1,250 National Guard troops in preparation for the storm. High surf warnings were in effect already at the Alabama coast.

As the storm closed in on the USA, it caused havoc in the Caribbean.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Florida cities including Tallahassee, Panama City, Apalachicola and Pensacola.

During an emergency meeting of the Bay County Commission on Monday night, Sheriff Tommy Ford said people will "not be dragged out of their homes", but reminded those who stay that first responders may not be able to reach them once the storm hits.

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

The governor warns that storm surge could be as high as 8-10 feet (2.4-3 meters) in some parts of the Panhandle and 2-4 feet (0.6-1.2 meters) in the Tampa Bay area.

Kemp said the bill totaled over $800 when she and her family fled Hurricane Irma's uncertain path a year ago. "Some areas along the Florida Gulf Coast are especially vulnerable to storm surge, regardless of the storm's exact track or intensity", the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.

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