Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Hurricane Michael could hit Florida as a Category 3 Wednesday

Hurricane Michael could hit Florida as a Category 3 Wednesday

Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned people across northwest Florida that the "monstrous hurricane" was just hours away, bringing deadly risks from high wind, storm surge and heavy rain. Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 35 miles (56 kilometers) from the core and tropical-storm-force winds out 175 miles (280 kilometers).

The storm made landfall in the Florida Panhandle around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. a strong Category 4 storm with sustained winds up to 155 miles per hour, just 2 miles per hour short of a Category 5 storm, the most powerful storm to hit the Panhandle in modern history. Michael is the only Category 4 storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in recorded history. "This thing came up fast and it wasn't like Irma where we had quite a bit of time to prepare".

Relatively minor flooding from a combination of king tides and 1 to 3 feet of storm surge from Michael, with Tuesday night's tide expected to be the highest.

"It's a massive storm", Florida Gov. On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico through tonight. USA producers in the Gulf cut oil production by about 40 percent and natural gas output by 28 percent on Tuesday, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said.

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

A hurricane warning was in effect for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River, with a hurricane watch in place from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

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President Donald Trump approved a pre-landfall emergency declaration to provide federal money and help in Florida.

In Panhandle counties, most state offices, schools and universities were closed for the rest of the week. "Hopefully more people will leave". But emergency authorities lamented that many people ignored the warnings and seemed to think they could ride it out. Forecasters said it will unleash damaging wind and rain all the way into the Carolinas, still recovering from Hurricane Florence's epic flooding.

Among them was Betty Early, 75, a retiree who joined about 300 fellow evacuees huddled on makeshift bedrolls of blankets and collapsed cardboard boxes at an elementary school converted into an American Red Cross shelter in Panama City, near the storm's expected landfall. The last Category 3 to hit the Panhandle was Dennis back in 2005, and the last time the Panama City area was hit by a Category 3 hurricane was 1894.

The National Hurricane Center's latest advisory on Hurricane Michael shows the storm has strengthened into a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour.

Mandatory evacuation orders went into effect Tuesday morning for some 120,000 people in Panama City Beach and across other low-lying parts of the coast. However, forecasters always note it is not possible to say where a hurricane will land until it is closer to the coast. Right now, it looks like most of us will see a good soaking rain Thursday night as the storm pushes tropical moisture into a cold front, but that cold front will sweep the remnants of the storm out to sea on Friday.

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