Hurricane Michael strengthens to Category 2 storm as it barrels toward Fla

12 Octobre, 2018, 13:32 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • 'Potentially catastrophic' Hurricane Michael strengthens to Category 2, targets Florida

Hurricane Michael strengthened into a Category 4 storm as it moved toward the Florida Panhandle, where it could blow ashore as the strongest storm to hit the United States this year. The fast-moving storm is likely to make landfall early Wednesday. They predict Michael will bring torrential rains and winds upwards of 125 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service is now warning that Michael is a "potentially catastrophic" weather event, which could result in "the strongest hurricane to landfall" upon Florida's Panhandle in over a decade.

Eastern Georgia, the Carolinas and southern Virginia are expected to receive as much as 6 inches.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for. A storm surge watch is in effect for the Anclote River to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay, and for the Alabama-Florida border to the Okaloosa-Walton County line. Evacuations already had been ordered in parts of 10 counties, according to USA Today.

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

Michael became a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

"The storm surge is absolutely deadly".

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the hurricane was 395 miles (635 kilometers) south of Panama City, Florida, and 365 miles (590 kilometers) south of Apalachicola, Florida. A Category 4 storm has maximum sustained winds of between 130 miles per hour and 156 miles per hour.

The storm's center and where it makes landfall with its destructive winds represent just one of several concerns.

People in areas that could be affected should take no chances against such a powerful surge, Scott said, adding, "No one's going to survive", such a wall of water. As Michael moves inland, southern Georgia and southeastern Alabama can expect damaging winds, too.

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A hurricane warning was up across the Florida panhandle, a low-lying area of beachfront resort and retirement communities on north-eastern Gulf coast.

Florida Panhandle's Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan issued a chilling warning to residents who choose to ride out the storm at home.

A monstrous storm that sprang from nowhere is now threatening the Florida Panhandle.

Tropical storm-force winds are expected to be in the area as soon as Tuesday night.

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

As Hurricane Irma stalked the Keys and the Southwest Coast previous year, Scott shepherded the evacuation of more than 6 million residents, almost one-third of the state's population.

While the swiftly moving storm is not expected to linger over Florida for long, widespread heavy downpours will likely track inland to flood-stricken areas of the Carolinas even as rain-gorged rivers there begin to recede, National Weather Service meteorologist Ken Widelski told the conference call.

More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were urged to evacuate as Michael closed in.

Neighbors in Alabama - the entire state is under an emergency declaration - also were bracing.

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