Tropical Storm Nadine becomes 14th named storm of Atlantic hurricane season

James Marshall
October 10, 2018

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says in a Tuesday evening advisory that Michael has become a Category 3 hurricane and is moving north across the Gulf of Mexico at 12 miles per hour.

As a result, the northeastern Gulf Coast is undergoing mandatory evacuations - that includes the Florida Panhandle (stretching into Big Bend) as well as parts of southeast Alabama and southern Georgia. That's just below the threshold for a "major" hurricane, and forecasters say they still expect Michael to get stronger. The storm's interaction with a high pressure to the north is helping to create hazardous conditions on local beaches where Weather Service advisories are in effect.

Hurricane Michael is strengthening as it enters the Gulf of Mexico and is aimed at Florida.

The storm, now about 395 miles south of Panama City, was moving north-northwest at 12 mph.

Michael was forecast to have the power to uproot trees, block roads and knock out power for days by the time it hits Florida Wednesday.

The storm has already caused damage in Mexico and Cuba.

In the Caribbean, a hurricane warning for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio was downgraded to a tropical storm warning Tuesday morning, while a tropical storm warning was discontinued for the Isle of Youth.

"We've been through this before", Sally Crown said she closed the cafe where she works because the city was shutting off the sewer system in anticipation of the storm.

"Storm surge is the number one problem that you can see from these storms. you have rain, you have wind - but storm surge, that's a lot of water that can come on shore", said David Peaton, the Deputy Director of Emergency Management in Levy County in an interview with WUFT.

Gillum said Monday that officials initially thought, "we will have outages and it will be inconvenient". But, he urged residents to stay "vigilant and ready". A shift eastward would not. "Don't take a chance", he said.

"It's definitely coming through an area that doesn't need more rain", Kimball said.

Over 300 miles of coastline are now under threat, the National Weather Service has cautioned.

If you live in the region Hurricane Michael will be passing through, you can check the latest forecasts and warnings at NOAA's National Hurricane Center.

"Guess what? That's today", Graham said.

The sheriff's office says Wakulla County shelters were rated safe only for hurricanes below that threshold.

Michael surprised forecasters Monday when an investigating flight found the storm more organized than expected and growing stronger.

Forecasters say Hurricane Michael will strengthen into a major hurricane by late Tuesday as it continues on a unsafe path towards the southeastern US state of Florida. "Heavy rainfall from Michael could produce life-threatening flash flooding from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of Georgia and SC". A storm surge up to 12 feet is possible along portions of Florida's Gulf Coast from Steinhatchee to Apalachicola Bay. Volusia and Flagler counties were not included in that declaration.

"Hurricane Michael is a monster storm and it keeps getting more risky".

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".

Although the forecast could change, there is no indication that the storm will deteriorate before making landfall.

The two states are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

In Florida, state offices, schools and universities were set to close on Tuesday through the end of the week in panhandle counties.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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