Friday, 14 December, 2018


Hurricane Michael heads for FL; Means more rain for WNC

An are of low pressure in the far western Caribbean is expected to develop into a tropical depression or even a tropical storm on Sunday. Michaels is the next name up. The storm could threaten the U.S. Gulf Coast by Wednesday Hurricane Michael heads for FL; Means more rain for WNC
Kristine Garrett | 10 October, 2018, 19:59

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that rain and storm surge could trigger deadly flooding and that residents within the hurricane warning zone should also "prepare for life-threatening winds".

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Florida's Democratic nominee for governor, had planned to campaign in South Florida on Monday and Tuesday, but instead threw himself into helping his city's residents fill sandbags and make other preparations.

The National Hurricane Center says Michael is located about 730 kilometers south of the popular resort town of Panama City, carrying maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers an hour, making it a Category 1 storm on the five-level scale that measures a storm's potential destructive power.

That's the biggest news coming out of the 2 a.m. Tuesday advisory from the National Hurricane Center, who now peg max sustained winds around the storm's eye at 130 miles per hour with gusts hitting 155 miles per hour.

According to the NHC, Michael will likely make landfall early Wednesday morning, and is "forecast to be a risky major hurricane".

A tropical weather system rapidly strengthened Monday into Hurricane Michael Monday and is likely to keep growing stronger ahead of an expected strike on Florida's Panhandle by midweek, forecasters said.

"Heavy rainfall from Michael could produce life-threatening flash flooding from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of the Carolinas through Thursday", the hurricane center said. A storm surge of up to 12 feet is forecast for a large section of the Florida coast.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has also designated 40 law-enforcement officers for rapid deployment. "Don't take a chance", he said.

Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines issued its own travel waiver Monday afternoon for travelers passing through Mobile, Alabama; Fort Walton Beach, Florida; Panama City, Florida; Pensacola, Florida and Tallahassee, Florida Tuesday and Wednesday. Depending on the track of Michael's remnants, southern New England could also see a period of heavy rain late Thursday.

The governor has declared a state of emergency in 35 counties, and is stressing that residents should "absolutely" evacuate if ordered to.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles.

Asked the likelihood of Hurricane Michael impacting Cayman, Mr. Powery said, "That's the $10 million question".

Hurricane Florence pounded SC in September, particularly the state's northeastern counties, causing flooding, evacuations and millions of dollars in damage to homes, roads and bridges.

By 5pm. Monday, Michael's top sustained winds were around 80mph (129kph) as it headed north at 9mph (14.5kph).

Michael, which formed near the Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday, is expected to dump 4 to 8 inches of rain - and as much as 12 inches in some areas - on western Cuba before it hits the United States. It is expected to cut quickly across the Peach State toward the Carolinas and areas flooded severely last month by Hurricane Florence.

A year ago 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. "This storm has the potential to bring devastating impacts to communities across the Panhandle and Big Bend and every family must be prepared".

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