Hurricane Michael Expected to Grow into a Major Hurricane

Elias Hubbard
October 10, 2018

Michael was moving north at 12 miles per hour.

Michael is still forecast to be a powerful Category 3 storm with winds of 120 miles per hour winds when it makes expected landfall in Florida's Big Bend area.

Michael battered parts of Mexico and Cuba with powerful winds and drenching rain on Sunday and into early Monday (local time). It would head off the Mid-Atlantic coast by Friday, the NHC said.

"Hurricane Michael is forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades", Scott said.

Hurricane Michael is expected to reach Florida's Panhandle region sometime Wednesday, before slowly moving through the bottom half of the southeastern United States over the next day.

The last major hurricane to hit northwest Florida was in 2005, when Hurricane Dennis made landfall at Santa Rosa Island, FL, as a Category 3 storm, the Northwest Florida Daily Newsreported.

A satellite image shows Hurricane Michael moving north in the Gulf of Mexico, heading for a landfall in the Florida Panhandle.

The first rains from Michael already started to soak the Florida Keys on Monday.

The NHC warned that the waves and rain could trigger deadly flooding, and that residents within the hurricane warning zone should likewise "prepare for life-threatening winds". Six people died in Honduras, four in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador. Authorities were also searching for a boy swept away by a river in Guatemala.

Eric O'Neal and his wife, Mariana, watch the waves as Hurricane Michael approaches land in Pensacola, Fla., on October 9.

Central Florida is not now in the cone of uncertainty as the Panhandle will apparently get the major impacts from the storm.

"I know people are tired from Florence, but don't let this storm catch you with your guard down", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said, adding, "A number of homes have rooftop tarps that could be damaged or blown away with this wind".

Michael was moving north at 12 miles per hour (19 kph) and is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and heavy rain to the northeastern Gulf Coast.

Panovich: Hurricane Michael will bring heavy rain to the Carolinas
Tropical storm warning issued for Midlands ahead of Hurricane Michael | News & Observer

He declared a state of emergency for 35 Florida counties from the Panhandle to Tampa Bay, activated hundreds of Florida National Guard members and waived tolls to encourage those close to the coast to evacuate inland.

A storm surge warning is in effect from the Okaloosa-Walton County line to the Anclote River in Florida. Following Hurricane Irma past year, 14 people died when a South Florida nursing home lost power and air conditioning.

"If you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient". It said it based the estimate on a storm-modeling tool that takes into account factors such as wind speed and the magnitude of the storm. The county has opened two sandbag locations for residents.

Some feared significant tree damage and power outages in Florida's capital city.

"Today it is about life and safety", Gillum said.

"Think about what we've seen before with storms like Hurricane Irma", he said.

Just how common are major hurricanes in October?

The worst storm surge is expected between Mexico Beach and Keaton Beach, where nine to 13 feet of inundation is possible, forecasters warned. Officials have also issued voluntary evacuation orders for parts of several other counties, including Calhoun, Gadsden, Hernando, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Pasco and Santa Rosa.

"The state is not taking this storm lightly and neither should any family".

High winds weren't the only danger.

The governor's declaration activates the state's emergency operations plan, according to Ivey's office.

Even if the storm stays offshore and doesn't directly impact the region, we'll be seeing some soaking rains later this week, partly fueled by Michael.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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