Houses left underwater, some torn to pieces as Hurricane Michael hits Florida

Gwen Vasquez
October 12, 2018

While Florence took five days between the time it turned into a hurricane and the moment it blew ashore in the Carolinas, Michael gave Florida what could amount to just two days' notice.

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.

"I know people are worn out 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".

He has also asked President Donald Trump for federal assistance.

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

"South Florida will remain far enough away from Michael to avoid significant direct impacts", said a forecast discussion Tuesday morning from the Miami-South Florida branch of the National Weather Service.

Floridians should always be prepared in the event that risky weather is expected in or near their area, especially throughout the Atlantic hurricane season.

In its discussion, the Hurricane Center said the storm was becoming better organized and would be a major hurricane upon landfall.

Tropical storm-force winds are expected to be in the area as soon as Tuesday night. Up to a foot of rainfall (30 cm) is forecast for some areas.

The storm's center is forecast to move northward over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area by Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States, the NHC said.

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Hurricane Florence - which wreaked havoc when it struck north and SC last month - only reached landfall speeds of 90mph.

She was unsure how well her old, wood-framed apartment block would hold up.

Hurricane warnings were posted from the Alabama border to the Suwannee River.

Unlike with the powerful and deadly Hurricane Irma past year that ran up the state, Scott has left evacuation orders to county officials. US 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.

A hurricane warning was up across the Florida panhandle, a low-lying area of beachfront resort and retirement communities on north-eastern Gulf coast.

Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo sent a letter to Gov. Scott late Monday asking for the extension, noting 35 counties are in a state of emergency.

About 2,500 National Guard troops were deployed to assist with evacuations and storm preparations, and more than 4,000 others were on standby. Some 13,000 utility restoration workers were also on standby.

Panhandle in more than a decade. "Hopefully more people will leave".

Coastal residents rushed to board up their homes and stock up on bottled water and other supplies.

"I've had to take antacids I'm so sick to my stomach today because of this impending catastrophe", National Hurricane Center scientist Eric Blake tweeted as the storm - drawing energy from the unusually warm, 84-degree Gulf waters - became more menacing.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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