How Are You Preparing For Hurricane Michael?

Gwen Vasquez
October 10, 2018

The storm is now a Category 3 storm packing winds of more than 120 miles per hour and is expected to grow even more potent before it makes landfall Wednesday, likely near Panama City Beach.

The National Hurricane Center said Michael will be the first Category 4 hurricane in recorded history to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle.

That would also make Michael the strongest hurricane to directly hit the U.S.so far this year.

The communities along the Panhandle coast can be hard to reach, with two-lane roads connecting several towns, and bridges that have never experienced the powerful winds Michael promises to pack.

Life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds, and heavy rainfall are expected along the northeastern Gulf Coast, it added. Then it is forecast to lash the southeastern United States through Thursday.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has issued a state of emergency for 92 of the state's 159 counties.

The "potentially catastrophic" storm has sustained winds of 145mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest update.

The storm will drift into the Mid-Atlantic States and out to sea by Friday.

The Florida Disaster website on October 9 said that parts or all of Bay County, Citrus County, Franklin County, Dixie County, Gulf County, Jackson County, Levy County, Okaloosa County, Taylor County, Wakulla County, and Walton County have been issued mandatory evacuation orders.

As of noon, there were almost 30,000 customers without power, according to state emergency management officials, including almost 8,400 in Bay County, where Panama City is expected to bear the brunt of storm.

Residents in Florida are scrambling to prepare for the imminent landfall of Hurricane Michael. "You can not hide from storm surge, so get out if an evacuation is ordered".

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

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Top sustained winds were reported to be near 140 miles per hour at 5am.

President Trump has approved Florida's declaration of emergency.

The agency warned residents in Florida and Alabama of the risk of storm surges, damaging winds and flash flooding. Peak winds will reach nearly 200kmh at landfall.

Hurricane Michael has already begun lashing northwestern Florida, and Long warned about the "devastating storm surge" that would likely push through that region along with punishing winds.

"That means the water will come miles in shore and could easily rise over the roofs of houses", Scott said.

Rainfall is expected to total 10 to 20 centimeters in parts of Florida, Alabama and Georgia during the next few days.

Most waterfront homes stood vacant in Keaton Beach, which forecasters said could get some of the highest water - seas up 9 feet (2.75 meters) above ground level.

While most of the city has cleared out under Florida Governor Rick Scott's strict request, some residents have stayed behind.

Meanwhile, tropical storm watches were in effect in some coastal areas of Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, and SC.

Sen. Marco Rubio, meanwhile, warned that the storm could bring a "storm surge that can't be survived".

Panama City Beach fire department chief Larry Couch said: "If they decide to stay, there will be a point where we can't get to them". He focused on islands off the coast whose bridges may close as the storm approaches.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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