Pinoys in southeastern USA told: Brace for hurricane Michael

11 October, 2018, 11:46 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • Alexander Charnicharo fishes at the seafront in Havana as Hurricane Michael passes by western Cuba

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) announced Monday that the tropical storm had nearly reached hurricane strength and could even be at or near major hurricane strength by Tuesday night, when it is expected to approach northwestern Florida.

In Gulf County alone, the first to begin ordering residents of low-lying areas to higher ground, mandatory evacuation notices encompassed an estimated 3,800 homes, said Jessica Sasich of the county's emergency operations center.

Life-threatening storm surge warnings have been issued for these areas, as well.

Florida State University said its campuses in Tallahassee and Panama City will be closed from Tuesday to Friday.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, making it a Category 1 hurricane. Michael could be as strong as a category 3 storm at that time.

There was a storm surge warning in effect from the Okaloosa/Walton county line to the Anclote River in Florida, and a storm surge watch in effect from Ocracoke Inlet, N.C., to Duck, N.C.

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 sheriff's office says Wakulla County shelters were rated safe only for hurricanes below that threshold.

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According to the Associated Press, Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued an order for a state of emergency for 35 counties, from the Panhandle through to Tampa Bay, to rush preparations, freeing up resources and activating 500 members of the Florida National Guard.

Storm surge is likely to be catastrophic north of Crystal River north and west to the popular beach destination of Panama City.

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

Chatham, and the surrounding counties, are in the National Weather Service Charleston's 5-day error cone with southeast Georgia having a 40-50 percent of feeling topical storm force winds beginning around 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Central Florida is not now in the cone of uncertainty as the Panhandle will apparently get the major impacts from the storm. The area from Navarre, Florida, to Anna Maria Island was also placed under a storm surge watch.

Tropical Storm Michael battered parts of Mexico and Cuba with powerful winds and drenching rains on Sunday as it strengthened in the Caribbean on a path that could see it slam into the US Gulf Coast later this week with hurricane force, officials said.

In Alabama, governor Kay Ivey has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of widespread power outages, wind damage and heavy rain.

Michael, which increased to a Category 1 hurricane midday Monday, will rapidly intensify over the next 24 to 36 hours, Orrock said.

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