Hurricane Michael Is Strengthening And Taking Aim At The Florida Panhandle

Kenny Grant
October 10, 2018

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". A Category 4 storm has maximum sustained winds of between 130 miles per hour and 156 miles per hour.

By declaring a State of Emergency, Governor Ivey is directing the activation of the Alabama Emergency Operations Plan.

While they are monitoring the storm, some TT nationals whom Newsday spoke to are not unduly concerned.

Neighbouring Alabama is also expecting strong winds, heavy rain and power cuts as a result of the hurricane.

"The main hazards will be gusty winds, flooding and isolated tornadoes", the National Weather Service's Hazardous Weather Outlook for South Florida said at 11 a.m. Monday.

Another dose of heavy rain may once again saturate fields in the region, which may be another blow to agriculture. "You have some time tomorrow, but [as] you start looking at tomorrow night into Wednesday, things start to deteriorate rapidly".

Meanwhile, tropical storm watches were in effect in some coastal areas of Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and SC. The brunt of the storm will hit the Florida Panhandle and continue through Georgia and South Carolina Thursday before hitting central South Carolina and central North Carolina.

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On Monday, Michael will emerge over the Gulf of Mexico, where computer model forecasts predict that it will steadily intensify. EDT Monday, the storm was centered about 120 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and moving to the north at about 7 mph.

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Through just nine days in October, more Americans have registered to vote through Vote.org than any other full month this year. For comparison's sake, 190,178 new voters were registered via Vote.org nationwide during September and 56,669 in August.

CNN reports that such language is warranted, for Michael is now "slashing Cuba" and is expected to reach Category 3 status (with sustained winds from 111-129 mph) by Wednesday when it reaches the us mainland.

"This is a part of the Gulf of Mexico that is incredibly vulnerable to storm surge", Graham said. In a Monday afternoon update, forecasters said winds have increased to almost 80 miles per hour (129 kph) as the storm moves north at almost 9 miles per hour (14 kph). The storm is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and heavy rain to there on Wednesday, and then it heads inland toward Georgia and the Carolinas.

Michael has quickly gained strength since the National Weather Service issued its first bulletin on the system Saturday.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely risky", Scott said Sunday following a briefing at the State Emergency Operations Center.

Michael was a Category 1 hurricane but could make landfall as a Category 3, and forecasters warned it could send down 10 to 30 centimetres of rain. The storm moves north toward the Gulf Coast and is expected to be a major hurricane. The red tide in the Gulf of Mexico off southwest Florida that began last October after Hurricane Irma swept up the state has killed massive amounts of marine life and caused respiratory irritations in people.

"On the state level, we are prepared", said Ivey. A hurricane watch was in effect from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River area.

Now, he's in the Florida panhandle with an eye on Michael. "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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