Florida Braces For 'Life-Threatening' Hurricane Michael To Hit Panhandle On Wednesday

Frederick Owens
October 10, 2018

Fueled by warm tropical waters, fast-strengthening Michael could gain major hurricane status with winds topping 111 miles per hour (179 kph) before its anticipated landfall Wednesday on the Panhandle or Big Bend area of Florida, forecasters warn.

"Michael is forecast to be a hurricane, and possibly a major hurricane, when it reaches the northeastern Gulf Coast by mid-week, and storm surge and hurricane watches are now in effect for portions of the area".

As what is predicted to be a catastrophic storms whips towards the Gulf Coast, we're sharing all of the vital information you should know.

The National Hurricane Center says Michael is expected to move off the mid-Atlantic coast and head back out to sea on Friday.

From left, Haskel Johnson, Daniel Tippett, Jennifer Tippett and Nobuko Johnson filled sandbags at the Lynn Haven Sports Complex in Lynn Haven, Fla., Monday, to prepare for Hurricane Michael. "We can rebuild your home, but we cannot rebuild your life", Scott said.

So the damage footprint of hurricane Michael will be very different and aside from the threat posed by a Category 3 landfall and storm surge the impacts inland from wind damage could be much more significant than seen with recent Florence.

Each line is a different forecast model projection for the track of Michael later this week.

A short new video from the space station shows a swirling Michael moving northwest at 12 miles an hour.

Several people were taken by van from coastal Wakulla County to Tallahassee's Leon County to the north. Wakulla County's shelters are not considered reliable against storms stronger than a Category 2.

Hurricane Michael is expected to hit the Florida panhandle as a major storm on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 10) - and USA weather satellites are busy watching the storm to help meteorologists keep people safe.

Panovich: Hurricane Michael will bring heavy rain to the Carolinas

"We are now under an emergency mandatory evacuation for Panama City Beach as of 6 a.m. this morning due to Hurricane Michael", management of the Holiday Inn Resort on Front Beach Road said on the hotel's Facebook page.

The hurricane is expected to maintain at least tropical storm level strength as it crosses Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

"You can not hide from storm surge, so. get out if an evacuation is ordered", he said.

Scott called the storm "monstrous", adding, "We haven't seen anything like this in the Panhandle in decades".

"If you decide to stay in your home and a tree falls on your house or the storm surge catches you and you're now calling for help, there's no one that can respond to help you", Morgan said at a news conference. As Michael moves inland, southern Georgia and southeastern Alabama can expect damaging winds, too.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency for her state Tuesday because of expected wide-spread power outages and wind damage.

FEMA is already on the ground in Florida; other federal agencies are also preparing to assist people in the storm's path.

Previous year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Hurricane Harvey - causing a record-equaling US$125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area. "The state is not taking this storm lightly and neither should any family".

The neighbouring state of Alabama has declared a state of emergency.

Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, Pasco County, Madison County, Liberty County Leon County, Hernando County, Gadsden County, and Calhoun County are under voluntary or phased evacuation orders. Although legislators required nursing homes to have backup power sources, more than half of long-term care facilities in the Panhandle and Big Bend still havent implemented that.

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