Florida, Alabama on emergency footing for Hurricane Michael

09 October, 2018, 02:29 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • This 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

By 11 a.m. Monday, Michael's top sustained winds were around 120 kph.

Alabama and Georgia - along with waterlogged North and SC - remain very much in the path of this system over the coming week.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on October 7 declared a state of emergency for several areas in Florida and "also directed the Florida National Guard to activate 500 guardsmen to assist with planning and logistics, and to prepare for response in impacted areas".

Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Gillum cancelled his campaign events in South Florida on Monday and is back home preparing for Hurricane Michael. A hurricane watch has been posted for the northeast Gulf Coast from the Alabama/Florida border to Suwanee River, Florida, including Pensacola, Panama City and Tallahassee.

The Category 1 hurricane, as of 5 p.m. EDT Monday, is forecast to possibly strengthen to a Category 3 with maximum sustained winds topping 111 miles per hour near its center of rotation before reaching the Gulf Coast on Wednesday morning at Panama City Beach, Fla. All that warm Gulf water can fuel a storm quickly.

The state's Big Bend area, where the storm is expected to make landfall on Wednesday, could see up to 12 feet of storm surge, according to forecasters. Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for coastal areas westward to the Alabama-Mississippi border and for inland areas of Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

The storm was centered about 30 miles (80 kilometers) off the western tip of Cuba, and about 520 miles (835 kilometers) south of Apalachicola, Florida.

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Additionally, we have a Storm Surge Watch up for Tampa Bay Waters as well as High Surf Advisories, Rip Current Advisories and a Small Craft Advisory.

St. Johns County Emergency Management said Monday that it is monitoring Michael and participating in conference calls with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, National Weather Service Jacksonville and National Hurricane Center to get the most up-to-date information.

Another national, Neil Fung, said the storm looks like " a major one".

As Eastern North Carolina continues to recover from Hurricane Florence, there's another storm to watch. The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, is expected to become a hurricane later today-and could be a major hurricane by Tuesday night or Wednesday.

On Sunday, a tropical storm formed in the northern Caribbean Sea. The storm is expected to bring power outages, storm surge, rains, flash flooding and tornadoes. Michael is expected to become a hurricane later Monday.

Forecasters advised residents along the northeastern and central U.S. Gulf Coast to monitor the storm's progress.

"It's a storm to keep an eye on", said meteorologist Tony Saavedra with the National Weather Service in Newport.

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