Updates, tracking resources as storm makes landfall

James Marshall
October 10, 2018

Tropical-storm force winds extending 185 miles from the center were already lashing the coast.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for 92 counties in his state.

"Hurricane Michael is a monster storm", Rick Scott, Florida's governor, said.

Residents in Florida and neighboring states have been told to leave their homes ahead of the devastating weather.

"Steady to rapid strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Michael is forecast to become a major hurricane by Tuesday night", the NHC said. Forecasters said it also could bring 3 to 6 inches of rain to Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia, triggering flash flooding in a corner of the country still recovering from Florence.

Currently, Michael is located 295 miles south of Panama City, Florida, and 270 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida.

Tallahassee´s Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is campaigning to succeed Scott as governor in next month´s elections, suspended his campaign and returned to the state capital to oversee storm preparations.

President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Florida, freeing up federal assistance to supplement state and local disaster responses.

It is believed Michael, a Category 3 storm, is poised to push ashore a "life-threatening" surge of water that will inundate those coastal areas.

Winds of that magnitude can inflict substantial damage to roofs and walls of even well-constructed homes, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm surge in some places in Florida could reach more than 10 feet, the NHC warned.

Anxious meteorologists said it had the potential of becoming one of the worst storms in the history of Florida's Panhandle.

Florida officials said roughly 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast had been urged or ordered to evacuate.

More than 2.1 million residents of at least 20 Florida counties were under mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders. This is an indication of the storm's organization, and with Michael's satellite appearance actually improving as the storm approaches land, some slight further intensification is possible today before landfall near Panama City.

Parts of western Cuba, which was hit by the storm on Monday, were forecast to receive up to a foot of rain. USA producers in the Gulf cut oil production by about 40 percent and natural gas output by 28 percent on Tuesday, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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