Hurricane Michael strengthens to Category 2 storm as it barrels toward Fla

10 October, 2018, 01:00 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Tracking Michael What You Need to Know

However this pace also means that hurricane Michael may maintain tropical storm wind speeds as it tracks north and affects the Carolina's before heading back out to sea off the US east coast.

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.

Additional strengthening is expected, and Michael is forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall on the panhandle of Florida Wednesday.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced an extension Tuesday morning that will allow county supervisors to accept paper voter-registration applications when they reopen from the storm. Hazards such as flooding rain, damaging wind gusts, storm surge and tornadoes could extend well away from the center of the storm, the Weather Service office in Jacksonville said in a hurricane local statement.

Rainfall could lead to flash flooding in Florida's panhandle and Big Bend regions, as well as in the Carolinas, through Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

"This storm can kill you", Scott said. 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. That's just below the threshold for a "major" hurricane, and forecasters say they still expect Michael to get stronger.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for governor, said his city's utility has called in "six times" its normal staffing through mutual-aid agreements with other utilities.

The storm, which hasn't officially been upgraded to a hurricane just yet, is now located approximately 90 miles east of Cozumel, Mexico. "Take care of them", Scott said. The Category 1 storm was moving north-northwest at 12 miles per hour. Scott says that as evacuations are ordered, he will waive tolls. By Friday (Oct. 12), the storm will make its way out over the northern Atlantic, NOAA is now predicting.

He noted that residents in the nearby coastal county of Wakulla were being forced to keep their shelters shut because they aren't built to withstand severe winds that may come with Hurricane Michael.

From the Okaloosa/Walton County Line, Florida, to Indian Pass, 6 to 9 feet of storm surge could hit.

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Michael is also predicted to be the strongest hurricane based on wind speed to hit continental U.S. landfall this year.

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

The hurricane's effects will be felt far from its eye.

Shipping ports including Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, were open on Monday, but the U.S. Coast Guard warned of gale-force winds in the next 48 hours.

Emergency officials in both counties and statewide are closely watching the hurricane.

"We're looking at a significant storm with significant impact, possibly greater than I've seen in my 59 years of life", Johnson said of his city on the shore of Apalachicola Bay, where about 90 percent of Florida's oysters are harvested.

Storm surge warnings are also in place along the Florida and Alabama coasts.

Kemp said the bill totaled over $800 when she and her family fled Hurricane Irma's uncertain path previous year.

Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, Pasco County, Madison County, Liberty County Leon County, Hernando County, Gadsden County, and Calhoun County are under voluntary/phased evacuation orders. It could strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane by the time it approaches the Gulf Coast of Florida by Wednesday.

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