Thursday, 13 December, 2018


Richland, Lexington counties under tropical storm watch as Michael approaches

Waves building off the coast of Cuba ahead of the arrival of hurricane Michael Image Waves building off the coast of Cuba ahead of the arrival of hurricane Michael
Kristine Garrett | 10 October, 2018, 06:37

Hurricane Michael is bearing down on the Florida Panhandle with frightening fury.

Byard said an estimated 500,000 people face evacuation orders and advisories in Florida, where residents and tourists were fleeing low-lying areas in at least 20 counties stretching along 200 miles (322 km) of shore in the Panhandle and adjacent Big Bend regions.

The storm is likely also to dump prodigious amounts of rain over Florida, Alabama and Georgia as well as the Carolinas, which are still reeling from severe flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. In neighboring Wakulla County, no shelters are opening at all because its shelters are only rated safe for Category 2 storms.

As the storm moved north it battered Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba with drenching rains and winds of up to 80 miles per hour (130 kph), the Miami-based hurricane centre said.

The storm is expected to reach category three strength before it makes landfall on Wednesday.

The continental U.S.' next threat after Hurricane Florence dumped more than two feet of rain on areas of North Carolina and caused river flooding from northeast SC to neighboring Florence County is gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a predicted midweek strike on the Florida Panhandle, according to weather officials.

The hurricane has undergone a period of "rapid intensification", defined as a 35 mph increase in sustained winds over a 24-hour period.

He said: "If you decide to stay in your home and a tree falls on your house or the storm surge catches you and you're now calling for help, there's no one that can respond to help you". You can see the GFS model below. "There are warnings for more than 300 miles of coastline". The storm is set to slam into the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday. A Tropical Storm watch is in effect for from Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island and Tampa Bay.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for.

"This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides", the NHC warned. "As Hurricane Michael nears landfall, we are working with state and local officials in Florida to take all necessary precautions", Trump said Monday. The storm is moving north at 12 miles per hour.

"It's closer to Africa than the Lesser Antilles right now", Bridges said.

The storm's steady intensification over the past two days, despite shifting winds, "defies traditional logic" according to the agency. "And then you're riding it out in your vehicle instead of something else". "If we can possibly ride it out safely, we're going to try it".

Scott extended a state of emergency to 35 counties and activated 2,500 National Guardsmen for hurricane duty.

The hurricane forced Benny and Cindy Guinn to get married a day earlier.

Areas likely to be hardest hit include the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach area, Panama City and Florida's state capital, Tallahassee.

Even if the storm stays offshore and doesn't directly impact the region, we'll be seeing some soaking rains later this week, partly fueled by Michael. "Take care of them". More than 10,000 people were ordered out of Panama City Beach alone, effective at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Many filled sandbags, boarded up homes and lined up to buy gas and groceries. Gulf County's coordinator of the beach project, Warren Yeager, tells the Pensacola News Journal that roadways and sewer lines could wash away.

Gov. Rick Scott issued a State of Emergency Sunday for 26 counties in anticipation for the 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.

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