Parts of Florida's curvy Big Bend could see up to 12 feet (3.7 metres) of storm surge, while Michael also could dump up to a foot (30 centimetres) of rain over some Panhandle communities as it moves inland, forecasters said.
A storm undergoes rapid intensification when its maximum sustained winds increase at least 35 mph in 24 hours or less, according to the National Hurricane Center. Landfall is expected Wednesday on Florida's northeast Gulf Coast. "That's the criticality of following directions". After Hurricane Irma a year ago, 14 people died when a South Florida nursing home lost power and air conditioning.
Of the elderly and infirm patients, Scott had a blunt message for their caregivers: "If you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient".
Because of this threat of power outages, Horry County spokeswoman Kelly Moore said residents should make sure they're prepared to be without electricity. It's as simple as that.
Storm surge that could be greater than 6 feet is forecast as far south as Crystal River with more than 9 feet into Apalachicola Bay.
"This has been different from a lot of the storms we've seen since I've been governor", said Gov. Rick Scott. "Do not think you can survive it".
"Residents in these areas should follow advice given by local officials".
"I just can't bring myself to spend that much money", she said.
"Today it is about life and safety", Gillum said.
"Steady to rapid strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Michael is forecast to become a major hurricane by Tuesday night", the NHC said. Michael was now a category one hurricane.
An entire neighborhood between 40th Street and 42nd Street in Mexico Beach Fla. was wiped out by Hurricane Michael Thursday Oct. 11 2018
The storm then looks destined to move through the southeast US on Thursday as a tropical storm, bringing heavy rains to Georgia and the Carolinas, before moving back out to the Atlantic on Friday. Some southern Alabama counties were under a tropical storm watch Monday afternoon.
The governor's office cautioned that flash flooding and tornadoes are possible with any hurricane.
Wednesday: By Wednesday morning, the storm's gale-force winds (around 40 mph) will have reached the Panhandle. Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds were outward up to 185 miles.
The agency said the storm is about 335 miles south of Panama City, Florida, and 310 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida.
Overall, it's highly likely that Michael's storm surge will cause erosion at the base of the dune line for 75 percent of Florida's Gulf Coast beaches.
A hurricane Warning was issued from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to Suwannee River. Scott says that as evacuations are ordered, he will waive tolls. That's just 4 miles below a Category 4 storm.
Pasco, Hernando and Citrus Counties are under a Storm Surge Warning.
If it makes landfall as a Category 3 it will be the first major hurricane to hit the Panhandle since Hurricane Dennis came ashore near Pensacola on July 10, 2005 with 130 miles per hour winds.
The evacuation orders went into effect Tuesday morning for some 120,000 people near the beach and other areas of Bay County.
There will be no shelters open in Wakulla County, the sheriff's office warned on Facebook, because they are rated safe only for hurricanes with top sustained winds below 178kmh.
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