Evacuations ordered as ‘monstrous’ Hurricane Michael approaches Florida

10 Octobre, 2018, 17:40 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • An are of low pressure in the far western Caribbean is expected to develop into a tropical depression or even a tropical storm on Sunday. Michaels is the next name up. The storm could threaten the U.S. Gulf Coast by Wednesday

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

The Tampa Bay area could face 4 to 6 feet of surge, which will be enhanced by high tide.

The storm could bring up to 12 inches of rainfall and is expected to make landfall as a category three hurricane on Wednesday morning. A major hurricane is defined as Category 3 or greater on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with sustained winds of 111mph or greater.

Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency from the Panhandle down to the Big Bend region, and mandatory evacuations have been ordered where Michael is expected to come ashore.

"This right here will help us get through, 'till the other one can get installed", she said. "We put out an order to evacuate. We're not going to risk the lives of first responders needlessly".

For the Columbus area, the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga., as of Monday evening, is forecasting the possibility of tropical storm conditions much of the day Wednesday and into the night before calming down Thursday morning, with an 80 percent chance of precipitation to include heavy rainfall and wind gusts up to 20 miles per hour. They said Michael could be the strongest hurricane to hit that stretch of coastline in 13 years. On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico through tonight.

Michael is moving toward the north near 7 miler per hour at a northward motion. The barometric pressure remained at 978mb. The center warned heavy rain, unsafe winds and life-threatening storm surges were possible across Western Cuba on Monday as winds picked up speed on the Gulf Coast.

President Trump has committed to providing any federal resources Florida may need, according to Scott.

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Michael was a Category 1 hurricane but could make landfall as a Category 3, and forecasters warned it could send down 10 to 30 centimetres of rain.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Florida's Democratic nominee for governor, had planned to campaign in South Florida on Monday and Tuesday, but instead threw himself into helping his city's residents fill sandbags and get their storm preparations completed. The next advisory is at 2:00 p.m. ET. The county has already closed its schools through Thursday. Most required individuals to bring their own bags and, in some cases, shovels.

Some Panama City residents were on the beach enjoying a cool breeze ahead of the storm, while others were loading up cars with luggage, and visitors were checking out of hotels. Some 13,000 utility restoration workers were also on standby.

Santa Rosa County has sand available at Pine Forest and Carroll in Milton, Pace Fore Rescue District in Pace, Citrus and Leisure in Navarre and Tiger Point Park in Gulf Breeze. Lines at gasoline stations grew as people left.

Lowe's Home Improvement in Fort Walton Beach, according to Service Manager Jay Hildebrand, ran out of generators and water by 3 p.m. Hildebrand said the store was expecting an emergency shipment by Monday night.

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.

In a Facebook post on 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 111mph (178kph). "We could be in for a rough situation".

"We have to be prepared for this", added Okalooosa County Commission Chairman Graham Fountain.

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