Michael strengthens into a hurricane, menaces Florida

Tropical Storm Michael, Heading North, Could Become Category 2 Hurricane
Tropical Storm Michael Will Become a Hurricane Monday
Author

09 October, 2018

CNN reports that such language is warranted, for Michael is now "slashing Cuba" and is expected to reach Category 3 status (with sustained winds from 111-129 mph) by Wednesday when it reaches the us mainland. They cited outside crews, unfamiliar with the city-owned utility system, could present "safety" issues, according to a report from Politico Florida's Matt Dixon published on September 7, 2016.

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in more than 20 counties along the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend.

Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Gillum cancelled his campaign events in South Florida on Monday and is back home preparing for Hurricane Michael.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued along the Florida Gulf Coast from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwanee River.

Tropical Storm Michael is expected to become a hurricane on Monday and was on track to hit the Florida Panhandle midweek, with the potential to pack winds of at least 100 miles per hour (160 km per hour), the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The storm achieved hurricane status with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour Monday morning, triggering warnings of a life-threatening storm surge that could hit the Florida Gulf Coast.

Starting Wednesday, rainfall from Hurricane Michael will touch down in the greater-Wilmington area, according to the National Weather Service's latest briefing.

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On Monday morning, the National Weather Service issued a storm surge watch from Navarre to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay.

The storm was centered about 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the western tip of Cuba, and about 140 miles (220 kilometers) east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico. All schools in Panama City and surrounding Bay County will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Also in a hurricane watch is southwest Georgia.

Chatham Emergency Management Agency has entered OPCON 4 and is monitoring Tropical Storm Michael.

The storm, born from a tropical depression that formed in the northwest Caribbean Sea early Sunday, was expected to enter the southern Gulf of Mexico on Monday and build up its winds to hurricane force by landfall.

Threats include damaging winds and flooding rain, along with storm surge and inland flooding along the immediate coast. "Michael is forecast to be near or at major hurricane strength when it reaches the northeastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night and Wednesday". Storm surge is not much of a concern because forecasters expect the hurricane to move quickly across the state, Martin said.

The hurricane center warned that the storm could produce a foot (30 centimeters) of rain in western Cuba, potentially triggering flash floods and mudslides in mountainous areas.


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