Now a Hurricane, Michael Looks to Impact the Carolinas

11 October, 2018, 04:02 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • Hurricane Michael forms in gulf Lowcountry impact expected later this week

The center warned heavy rain, risky winds and life-threatening storm surges were possible across Western Cuba on Monday as winds picked up speed on the Gulf Coast.

Florida State University in Tallahassee announced it was shutting down its campus after midnight on Monday, and will remain closed for the rest of the week.

Hurricane Michael, which was officially named a Category 1 hurricane this morning, is now located roughly 50 miles south of the west side of Cuba, with a maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

Michael is expected to gradually strengthen and lift northward into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, becoming a hurricane Monday night into Tuesday, according to a press release from the National Weather Service Charleston.

Hurricane Michael gained new strength Monday and is expected to keep growing stronger ahead of an expected midweek strike on Florida's Panhandle, forecasters said.

The outer bands will be the beginning of the event for central Georgia, but the worst weather will arrive Wednesday night into Thursday morning as the center of Michael moves through.

Continued strengthening is expected and heavy rainfall and strong winds were already spreading across western Cuba.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Panhandle and Big Bend areas while coastal Manatee County and area waters are under a Tropical Storm Watch, meaning tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours.

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Some areas that experienced flooding from Florence are likely to face renewed flooding but perhaps on a lesser scale due to Michael's forecast increasing speed. Our southwestern counties could even see hurricane force wind gusts of over 74 miles per hour.

"We haven't seen anything like this in the Panhandle in decades", Scott said at the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center.

The governor noted that while state officials are prepared for the storm, she said "now is the time for residents in south Alabama to review your emergency preparedness plans and also get prepared" - warning that those in Michael's path "will need to take shelter by [Tuesday] evening".

Florida Governor Rick Scott, who suspended his Republican campaign for the US Senate to deal with the approaching storm, issued a state of emergency for 26 counties of Florida on Sunday.

The storm was located about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Cuba's western tip and 520 miles (837 kilometers) south of Apalachicola, Florida.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Navarre Florida to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay.

Tens of thousands of people in Florida have been ordered to evacuate, while Florida's governor warned that the hurricane "could be devastating". "It looks like another big one", he said. Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Gulf Coast from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River of Florida.

Two days ago, Hurricane Michael didn't exist.

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