Hurricane Michael gains strength on course for north Florida

Mindy Sparks
October 10, 2018

By 8 a.m. Tuesday, top winds had reached 100 miles per hour (155 kph), and it was forecast to strengthen into a "major" hurricane, with winds topping 111 miles per hour (179 kph).

Particularly important are the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, or GOES, which are jointly run by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

"The FL panhandle needs to be prepared for a direct hit with sustained hurricane force winds", Scott wrote on Twitter on Monday.

Rainfall could lead to flash flooding in Florida's panhandle and Big Bend regions, as well as in the Carolinas, through Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Tropical Storms warnings were also issued for the US east coast, from Fernandina Beach, just north of Jacksonville, to SC. As Michael nears landfall, we're sharing all you need to know about the impending storm. Key messages from the National Hurricane Center are below.

"For everyone thinking they can ride this storm out, I have news for you: that will be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your life".

"The storm surge is absolutely deadly".

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the storm's center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles, forecasters said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued Tropical Storm Watches across many SC counties Tuesday morning, including Allendale, Hampton, Dorchester, Beaufort and Charleston counties.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned it was a "monstrous hurricane", and his Democratic opponent for the Senate, Sen.

The governor warns that storm surge could be as high as 8-10 feet (2.4-3 meters) in some parts of the Panhandle and 2-4 feet (0.6-1.2 meters) in the Tampa Bay area.

Scott has declared a state of emergency in 35 counties in Florida.

Hurricane Michael strengthened to a Category 2 storm with 100-mile-per-hour winds on Tuesday as Florida's governor warned it could bring "total devastation" to parts of the southern U.S. state.

"We're looking at a significant storm with significant impact, possibly greater than I've seen in my 59 years of life", Johnson said of his city on the shore of Apalachicola Bay, where about 90 percent of Florida's oysters are harvested.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Leslie is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane on Wednesday.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River, and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Florida's west coast from the Suwannee River to Chassahowitzka.

The hurricane's effects will be felt far from its eye.

Hurricane Michael is gaining strength as it lashes Cuba's western tip and lumbers northward toward the U.S. Heavy rain, storm surge, and downed trees and power lines are also expected along Florida's western coast. The county has opened two sandbag locations for residents.

"Hurricane Michael is a massive storm that could bring total devastation to parts of our state, especially in the Panhandle", Scott said.

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 mandatory evacuation orders. Larger surf is expected Tuesday, Malphurs said, and access ramps are expected to be closed to driving all morning and into the early afternoon. Residents are being urged to evacuate inland.

"This storm has the potential to be a historic storm, please take heed", the sheriff's office said in the post.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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