National Hurricane Center calls Michael potentially catastrophic as winds reach 145mph

Mindy Sparks
October 11, 2018

The National Hurricane Center said Michael could make landfall Wednesday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle as a category 3 storm.

Hurricane Michael is expected to hit the Florida panhandle as a major storm on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 10) - and USA weather satellites are busy watching the storm to help meteorologists keep people safe.

Hurricane Michael was upgraded to a category 3 storm Tuesday evening, on track to hit the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday as the most powerful hurricane to hit the mainland USA this year, The New York Times reported.

Officials in Bay County say they have not seen a rush of evacuees clogging roads inland - and that worries them with just hours left before Michael's landfall in the Panhandle.

During an emergency meeting of the Bay County Commission on Monday night, Sheriff Tommy Ford said people will "not be dragged out of their homes", but reminded those who stay that first responders may not be able to reach them once the storm hits.

NHC Director Ken Graham said Michael represented a "textbook case" of a hurricane system growing stronger as it drew near shore, in contrast to Hurricane Florence, which struck North Carolina last month after weakening in a slow, halting approach. "We want to get them out of the way".

The last NHC report said the fast-moving storm was about 180 miles (325 km) from Panama City, Florida. A hurricane warning is in effect for the Florida Gulf coast from the border of Florida and Alabama to Suwanee River, Florida.

In the dangerously exposed coastal town of Apalachicola, population 2,500, Sally Crown planned to go home and hunker down with her two dogs. More than 10,000 people were ordered out of Panama City Beach alone, effective at 6 a.m. Tuesday.


The National Hurricane Center has issued a storm surge warning for portions of the coasts of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend, and Nature Coast. "This might be really bad and serious".

Michael could dump up to a foot (30 centimeters) of rain over some Panhandle communities before its remnants go back out to sea by way of the mid-Atlantic states over the next few days. Forecasters said tornadoes could spin off the storm and 7.5cm to 15cm of rain could cause flash floods as it barrels over a corner of the country still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

"We've been through this before", she said.

As the storm closed in on the US, it caused havoc in the Caribbean.

Scott declared a state of emergency in 35 of 67 counties but emphasized that evacuation orders are a local responsibility.

Locally, Michael will likely lead to some flash flooding, minor river flooding, downed trees, and power outages. "You need to take care of yourselves".

About 2,500 National Guard troops were deployed to assist with evacuations and storm preparations, and more than 4,000 others were on standby.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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