Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Research | By Wilma Wheeler

Hurricane Michael takes aim at Florida, state of emergency

Hurricane Michael takes aim at Florida, state of emergency

Hurricane Michael intensified into a Category 2 over warm Gulf of Mexico waters Tuesday amid fears it would strike Florida on Wednesday as an even stronger hurricane. Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich said anywhere from Panama City to Cedar Key, Florida could see significant storm surge from Hurricane Michael.

The consensus of the various meteorological models is that the track of Michael will cross the state southeast of Laurens County, but the county is well within the storm's so-called "cone of uncertainty". There is also little chance that the storm's path will shift majorly east or west, based on the latest models. It's forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades, and it will send life-threatening surges of ocean water into coastal areas along the gulf.

Michael was lashing western Cuba on Monday with heavy rains and strong winds.

While the storm loomed over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, cameras aboard the International Space Station captured views of Hurricane Michael at 12:13pm and 12:50pm ET.

Nadine, which is no threat to land, is notable as the 14th named storm this hurricane season, which was forecast to have less activity than during a normal year.

The storm is now moving north, crossing into the Gulf of Mexico, and will likely curve to the east after its coastal impact.

Michael underwent a period of "rapid intensification" on Sunday and Monday, its winds strengthening by more than 35 miles per hour.

The storm is expected to cause wide-spread power outages, high winds and heavy rain in Alabama.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum canceled campaign events in South Florida on Monday and Tuesday to prepare for the storm, his campaign said.

The heaviest rain will tend to fall in areas that were missed by Florence and focused from the Florida Panhandle to southwestern and central Georgia to part of central SC.


Tens of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate in Wakulla, Gulf and Bay counties.

The alert came as the tropical storm system strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane, packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometres per hour, earlier in the day.

Hurricane Michael is shaping up to be a "monster" storm, in the words of Florida's governor, but it doesn't look like there will be any major effects on the D.C. area.

The hurricane, now off Cuba's western tip, is expected to make landfall on the Florida panhandle and affect portions of southern Alabama.

Areas likely to be hardest hit include the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach area, Panama City and Florida's state capital, Tallahassee.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal on Tuesday issued a state of emergency declaration for 92 counties in the state.

In a 5 p.m. update on October 9, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Michael has strengthened to a "major hurricane" and has life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall.

Speaking alongside emergency officials in Pasco County, Scott said Monday he's waiving tolls. Forecasters warned of up to 30cm of rain in western Cuba, triggering flash floods and mudslides in mountain areas, and disaster agencies in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua reported 13 deaths as roofs collapsed and residents were carried away by swollen rivers.

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency for 92 counties.

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