Hurricane Michael: Georgia, Alabama Declare State of Emergency

Olive Hawkins
October 12, 2018

Mandatory evacuations are under way in Panama City Beach and across other low-lying parts of the Florida Panhandle as Hurricane Michael approaches.

Hurricane Michael is churning in the Gulf of Mexico and is anticipated to make landfall as a major storm today before heading north and east into the Carolinas.

Michael is also predicted to be the strongest hurricane based on wind speed to hit continental U.S. landfall this year.

Only three major hurricanes have made landfall in the Panhandle since 1950: Eloise in 1975, Opal in 1995 and Dennis in 2005.

Mr Rick Scott told a news conference on Tuesday: "Hurricane Michael is a monster storm and it keeps getting more unsafe".

AccuWeather chief Joel Myers said Michael is forecast to roll through the region much more quickly than did the lingering Florence, which dumped up to 40 inches of rain in some areas.

Wakulla County issued a dire warning, saying it won't open any of its shelters - because they're safety-rated only for storms up to Category 2 strength, WFSU reports.

As a result, areas in Central Florida could feel tropical storm-like conditions, according to News 6 meteorologists.

Scott extended a state of emergency to 35 counties and activated 2,500 National Guardsmen.

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Storm surges could reach as high as 12 feet from Indian Pass to Ceder Key, Florida, the NHC warned.

Hurricane Michael, pictured in a satellite image taken on October 8, 2018, when it was still a tropical storm, could produce life-threatening flooding. By 8 a.m. Tuesday, top winds had reached 100 miles per hour (155 kph), and it was forecast to strengthen more, with winds topping 111 miles per hour (179 kph), capable of causing devastating damage. A Category 4 storm has maximum sustained winds of between 130 miles per hour and 156 miles per hour.

President Donald Trump approved a pre-landfall emergency declaration to provide federal money and help in Florida. TORNADOES: The threat for tornadoes will increase late tonight into Wednesday over parts of the Florida Panhandle, the northern Florida Peninsula, and southern Georgia.

A hurricane warning was posted along more than 300 miles (483 km) of the coast from the Florida-Alabama border south to the Suwannee River.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm was moving north-northwestward through the southern Gulf of Mexico, and that storm surge and hurricane warnings were in effect for the northeastern Gulf coast.

A storm surge warning is in effect from the Okaloosa-Walton County line to the Anclote River in Florida. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (72 kilometers) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (281 kilometers).

"You haven't got anywhere to go (if the bridges close)", he said Tuesday.

Floridians should always be prepared in the event that risky weather is expected in or near their area, especially throughout the Atlantic hurricane season. "Do not risk your life, leave NOW if you were told to do so", the NWS in Tallahassee, Florida, tweeted Wednesday morning.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for 92 counties in his state. SURF: Swells generated by Michael are affecting the coasts of the eastern and northern Gulf of Mexico, and will spread to portions of the northwestern and western Gulf of Mexico coast during the next day or so.

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