Hurricane Michael upgraded to Category 3 storm

Michael will be the strongest hurricane to hit the continental US in more than a year

Florida's Mexico Beach is "probably ground zero," FEMA chief says

Forecasters at the Miami center say Michael is expected to strengthen quickly and become a major hurricane by Tuesday night.

Hurricane Michael could produce three life-threatening hazards along portions of the northeastern Gulf Coast. The agency warned residents in Florida and Alabama of the risk of storm surges, damaging winds and flash flooding.

If you decide to stay in your home and the storm surge catches you and you're now calling for help, there's no one that can respond to help you. "That's the criticality of following directions". "I was just on a call with them, and they're working hard to make sure we keep getting gas in the state". If Michael's core comes ashore as a Category 2 or higher, it would be the strongest storm in terms of wind speed to make landfall in the country this year.

"My expectation is if you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient". It's as simple as that.

Scott declared a state of emergency in 35 counties along the Panhandle and Florida's Big Bend regions. By Friday (Oct. 12), the storm will make its way out over the northern Atlantic, NOAA is now predicting.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is also the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the November 6 elections, said on Sunday he was cancelling his campaign events and returning to Tallahassee to focus on storm preparations.

An entire neighborhood between 40th Street and 42nd Street in Mexico Beach Fla. was wiped out by Hurricane Michael Thursday Oct. 11 2018
An entire neighborhood between 40th Street and 42nd Street in Mexico Beach Fla. was wiped out by Hurricane Michael Thursday Oct. 11 2018

"Today it is about life and safety", Gillum said.

Eric O'Neal and his wife, Mariana, watch the waves as Hurricane Michael approaches land in Pensacola, Fla., on October 9.

As the storm moved north it battered Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba with drenching rains and winds of up to 80 miles per hour (130 kph), the Miami-based hurricane centre said.

Several cities in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina are in the path of this storm, beyond its landfall on the coast.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for. Local heavy rain, river flooding and isolated tornadoes also are possible.

A hurricane warning is in place from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida.

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It was moving west-northwest at 15 mph and recorded maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, the NHC said. Residents in the area can expect to see Tropical Storm conditions move into the area on Thursday.

Michael also wreaked havoc in the Caribbean.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced an extension Tuesday morning that will allow county supervisors to accept paper voter-registration applications when they reopen from the storm.

The hurricane is expected to maintain at least tropical storm level strength as it crosses Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. The storm was centered about 425 miles south of Apalachicola and 455 miles south of Panama City, Florida.

According to an alert published by the Cuban Civil Defense, meteorologists warned affected residents that they could experience hurricane-force winds.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for.

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

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"I've been talking to mayors, to county commissioners, I think people are taking this serious", Scott said.

Other locations in the state are under voluntary evacuation.

Winds are forecast to reach up to 110-miles-per-hour and some areas are expected to see an eight-to-twelve foot storm surge.

Mandatory evacuations have been issued in much of the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend areas.

In Gulf County alone, the first to begin ordering residents of low-lying areas to higher ground, mandatory evacuation notices encompassed an estimated 3,800 homes, said Jessica Sasich of the county's emergency operations centre.

So the damage footprint of hurricane Michael will be very different and aside from the threat posed by a Category 3 landfall and storm surge the impacts inland from wind damage could be much more significant than seen with recent Florence. With Michael's winds projected to be even stronger than that, Wakulla County residents were urged to evacuate inland.

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

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