Hurricane Michael gains strength on course for north Florida

Olive Hawkins
October 10, 2018

Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines issued its own travel waiver Monday afternoon for travelers passing through Mobile, Alabama; Fort Walton Beach, Florida; Panama City, Florida; Pensacola, Florida and Tallahassee, Florida Tuesday and Wednesday.

Some of the storm's most significant early impact was to offshore energy production.

Steady to rapid strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Michael is forecast to become a major hurricane by Tuesday or Tuesday night.Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km).The estimated minimum central pressure based on Air Force Reserve reconnaissance data is 982 mb (29.00 inches).HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND -- STORM SURGE: The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. Michael's location was about 90 miles southwest of both Panama City, Fla., and Apalachicola, Fla., the NHC said.

Winds as strong as Michael is producing can inflict substantial damage to roofs and walls of even well-constructed homes, according to the National Weather Service.

Residents of the USA state of Florida are boarding up homes and seeking evacuation routes away from Hurricane Michael, forecast to slam ashore midweek with life-threatening waves, winds and rains. The Florida Panhandle and Big Bend area stretching into Georgia and SC could see four to eight inches of rain, with some areas as high as 12 inches. Up to a foot of rainfall (30 cm) is forecast for some areas.

In Gulf County alone, the first to begin ordering residents of low-lying areas to higher ground, mandatory evacuation notices encompassed an estimated 3,800 homes, said Jessica Sasich of the county's emergency operations center. A storm surge of up to 12 feet is forecast for a large section of the Florida coast.

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He said: " Our state understands how serious tropical weather is and how devastating any hurricane or tropical storm can be ". In Cuba on Sunday, Michael was expected to dump as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain in western parts of the island.

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She was unsure how well her old, wood-framed apartment block would hold up. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations hard or dangerous.A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.Interests elsewhere across the southeastern United States should monitor the progress of Michael.For storm information specific to your area in the United States, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.

Speaking Monday to the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Orlando, Trump urged residents to heed local warnings and pledged the federal government's support. Parts of Florida's curvy Big Bend could see up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) of storm surge, while Michael also could dump up to a foot (30 centimetres) of rain over some Panhandle communities as it moves inland, forecasters said.

Florida has already declared an emergency in 26 counties. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said she feared widespread power outages and other problems would follow. The Florida national guard has over 4,000 more guard members available for deployment, according to Scott. Some 13,000 utility restoration workers were also on standby.

Ahead of the storm, Florida State University announced that it would shut down after midnight Monday and remain closed for the rest of the week. Those who stayed emptied grocery store shelves of water and other supplies.

Michael is the seventh hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Torrential downpours and flash flooding from the storm over the weekend caused 13 deaths in Central America.

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