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

Sergio Conner
October 10, 2018

A hurricane hunter plane investigating the storm Tuesday morning found that Michael's eye had become less organized.

Michael is expected to reach at least Category 3 in strength, with winds potentially beyond 110 miles per hour.

"Based on Hurricane Michael's current forecast track, we project that we could experience or customers could experience between 100,000 to 200,000 power outages in the northern part of our service territory up there in the Florida Panhandle", said Peveeta Persaud, a spokesperson for the company.

Of the elderly and infirm patients, Scott had a blunt message for their caregivers: "If you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient".

Hurricane Michael, a "major" Category 3 storm, was becoming "better organized" and is forecast to intensify as it barrels towards Florida's Gulf Coast, where it's expected to make landfall, officials said.

President Donald Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said the country was very well prepared for the hurricane, adding it was much bigger than had been expected.

"Because of the damage caused by Hurricane Florence, and the fact that there's still some standing water in places, we have to be that much more alert about the damage that Hurricane Matthew could do", Cooper said.

"I just got a crew that came in that are staying also and they're in here helping me get everything buttoned up, tightened down, getting the food secure", Givens said.

In a Facebook post Monday, the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office said no shelters would be open because Wakulla County shelters were rated safe only for hurricanes with top sustained winds below 111 miles per hour (178 kph).

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A storm surge warning is also in effect from Florida's Okaloosa/Walton County Line to the Anclote River. Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds were outward up to 185 miles. 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, citing reports from 27 companies.

At that strength, it would rank as the most powerful storm to strike the Panhandle in more than a decade.

There were mandatory evacuation orders for 120,000 people in Panama City Beach and other low-lying parts of the Gulf Coast. Forecasters warned that the storm could produce up to a foot (30 centimetres) of rain in western Cuba, potentially triggering flash floods and mudslides in mountainous areas. Areas closer to the beach will experience the strongest winds, which will turn trees and other loose items into unsafe projectiles.

"The state is not taking this storm lightly and neither should any family".

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Florida's Democratic nominee for governor, filled sandbags with residents and urged the state capital's residents to finish emergency preparations quickly.

High winds weren't the only danger.

"Life-threatening storm surge is likely along portions of the coasts of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend, and Nature Coast, and a storm surge warning is in effect for these areas".

The governor's declaration activates the state's emergency operations plan, according to Ivey's office. Local authorities fear power outages and major tree damage from Michael. Plenty of water. I made sure we've got clean clothes. As Michael nears landfall, we're sharing all you need to know about the impending storm.

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