NOAA Says It’s Category 3 With 120 Mph Winds, Storm Surge

Jan Cross
October 10, 2018

Forecasters on Wednesday morning upgraded Hurricane Michael to an "extremely unsafe Category 4" storm.

The Florida governor called Michael "a monstrous storm" and urged residents to listen to officials.

Residents and officials alike have said they were surprised by how quickly the storm came together, particularly compared to the much slower approach of recent hurricanes like Irma past year and Florence last month in the Carolinas.

Tropical Storm warnings and watches have been issued for multiple counties in northeast SC and southeastern North Carolina, the same area hit last month by Hurricane Florence's winds and flash flooding.

Federal officials said they are in position and prepared to help the Southeast respond to Hurricane Michael, which they described as a particularly risky system.

When Hurricane Michael makes landfall today, it will hit Panama City, Florida, first.

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

Some 120,000 people people have been warned to evacuate along Florida's coast, where schools and state offices are to remain shut this week.

Scott stressed in the days leading up to the storm that evacuation decisions were made by local officials, though Maul, the state emergency head, sent a letter to legislators and local officials Monday night criticizing local preparedness efforts.

Michael is the seventh hurricane of the year in the Atlantic Basin.

According to the Associated Press, six people were killed in Honduras, four people in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador.

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In St. Marks, John Hargan and his family gathered up their pets and evacuated to a raised building constructed to withstand a Category 5 after water from the St. Marks River began surrounding their home.

Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said the storm is unlikely to impact prices at the pump.

Its strongest winds extended up to 45 miles from the center, and some parts of Florida were already feeling its impact.

Hurricane-force winds extend about 40 miles from the center, with tropical storm-force winds reaching 185 miles, Graham said. "We will be able to get time together", said Tyler Butler, 33. "Well, we're about to get punched in the face". This eyewall has the fastest winds below it and violent currents of air rising through it. This storm poses no threat to land.

Thirteen people died in Central America as Michael battered the region with rain and winds of up to 85mph.

"Urgent warning about the rapid rise of water on the SW FL coast with the passage of #Irma's eye".

While most of the city has cleared out under Florida Governor Rick Scott's strict request, some residents have stayed behind. "This is going to have structure damaging winds along the coast and hurricane force winds inland".

Currently, there is some light rain with no heavy wind yet.

Winds 209-251km/h Some roofs destroyed and major structural damage to houses. Further inland, Tallahassee has a population of less than 200,000.

Thomas said relatives in IL had urged him to leave and stay with them, but he didn't have a way to get so far north so quickly, and shelters aren't a good option in his view.

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