Michael Now A Hurricane, Threatens Florida Panhandle

Michael Now A Hurricane, Threatens Florida Panhandle

Michael Now A Hurricane, Threatens Florida Panhandle

For the Columbus area, the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga., as of Monday evening, is forecasting the possibility of tropical storm conditions much of the day Wednesday and into the night before calming down Thursday morning, with an 80 percent chance of precipitation to include heavy rainfall and wind gusts up to 20 miles per hour.

The NHC said in a tweet that a "life-threatening" storm surge and flash flooding is likely in areas of the Florida Panhandle and described the storm as "dangerous". Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads.

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 26 counties along the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend. Nevertheless, our weather will be driven by Michael's track over the next 48 hours. The rains in Cuba's west were expected to begin Sunday night and continue Monday.

The storm is moving north at 9 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour. A Category 1 hurricane has sustained winds of 74 to 95 miles per hour.

"Michael could produce three life-threatening hazards along portions of the northeastern Gulf Coast: storm surge, heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds", according to the hurricane center.

After hitting Florida, the storm is forecast to move up the East Coast on Wednesday and Thursday and batter the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

In addition to parts of western and northern Florida, a hurricane watch is also in effect for Mobile, Alabama and surrounding areas. The category one hurricane is expected to affect parts of the state later this week. It is expected to become a hurricane by Tuesday. On average, the Atlantic would have about five hurricanes by October 8.

"That means the Panhandle and Big Bend can see winds in excess of 100 miles per hour". HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND -------- WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area by this evening or tonight, making outside preparations hard or unsafe.

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

Scott also activated 500 National Guard Troops in advance of the storm. "Take care of them", Scott said. "We're going to get storm surge, we have wind, we have a chance of flooding, we have a significant chance of tornadoes".

With public schools closing throughout the region, Florida State University announced it was shutting down through the end of the week, and evacuation orders have been issued in Wakulla, Franklin and Gulf counties.

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 get their storm preparations completed.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth as well as the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for.

Newsday contacted the TT Consulate General in Miami to find out if any special instructions were being issued to TT nationals about the hurricane, butp to press time, officials there were unable to provide any information on it.

With widespread power outages expected, Scott said he wants local governments to confirm that mutual-aid agreements with electric utilities have been signed so there is no delay in restoration.

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