"Extremely Dangerous" Hurricane Michael Rumbles Towards Florida Coast
"Extremely Dangerous" Hurricane Michael Rumbles Towards Florida Coast
Hurricane Michael seen from space off the coast of Florida NASA
10 October, 2018, 19:59
Michael was a Category 1 hurricane but could make landfall as a Category 3, and forecasters warned it could send down 10 to 30 centimetres of rain. The National Hurricane Center forecast up to 30cm of rain in Florida, Georgia and SC. NWS added that heavy rainfall from Hurricane Michael could produce life-threatening flash flooding from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of Georgia, the Carolinas and southeast Virginia.
Wind gusts could range between 30-60 miles per hour, knocking down trees and power lines, causing widespread outages.
Michael's eye was about 140 miles from Panama City and 130 miles from Apalachicola, but moving relatively fast at 13 mph. Winds along the Florida coast were already rising above tropical storm strength at the time, all but closing the window for further evacuations as the storm nears shore and moves inland later today.
Authorities told residents along the affected areas of Florida's Gulf of Mexico coast that they had run out of time to evacuate and should hunker down. Evacuations spanned 22 counties from the Florida Panhandle into north central Florida.
The unexpected brute quickly sprang from a weekend tropical depression, reaching Category 4 early Wednesday as it drew energy from the Gulf of Mexico's warm waters, an unseasonably high 84 degrees.
"I guess it's the worst case scenario. I don't think anyone would have experienced this in the Panhandle", meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com told The Associated Press.
The effects of Hurricane Michael may cause residential areas to become uninhabitable for weeks or possibly even months.
University of Georgia's Marshall Shepherd, a former president of the American Meteorological Society, called it a "life-altering event" on Facebook and said he watched the storm's growth on satellite images with a pit growing in his stomach. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued to about 120,000 people living in Panama City, Fla., and across other low-lying parts of the coast as the storm nears.
While most homes around him are vacation rentals or summer getaways for their owners, Sadousky had stayed put through more than four decades of storms.
"This storm will bring torrential rain, heavy winds and risky storm surges to many areas of our state", he tweeted.
Scott implored residents on Wednesday to seek shelter and prepare for the monster storm.
Then, it will "move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night and Thursday, and move off the Mid-Atlantic coast away from the United States on Friday", the NHC said. And isolated tornadoes were also possible.
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Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles. Depending on the track of Michael's remnants, southern New England could also see a period of heavy rain late Thursday.
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In the meantime, Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a State of Emergency for the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend areas. Image: Forecast Track for Hurricane Michael . "This storm will be life-threatening and extremely unsafe ", he said.
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