Michael strengthens to category 1 hurricane

Christopher Davidson
October 10, 2018

After landfall Michael will track directly over central Georgia Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Described by Scott as both "monstrous" and "massive", Michael could make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour, according to current projections. Tropical storm conditions are expected across the remainder of the warning areas in Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula later today.Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area along the U.S. Gulf Coast by Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions possible by Tuesday night or early Wednesday.

Hurricane Michael will be a major hurricane when it arrives at the Florida coast sometime Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center says.

The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, is expected to become a hurricane later today-and could be a major hurricane by Tuesday night or Wednesday.

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30 miles northwest of the western tip of Cuba and was moving north at 9 mph.

The NHC has forecast that Michael is slated to strengthen and will bring heavy rains, damaging winds, and storm surge. A storm surge of up to 12 feet is forecast for a large section of the Florida coast. The storm is almost a Category 3 and that level of intensity is expected to be achieved later today.

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).

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He declared a state of emergency for 35 Florida counties from the panhandle to Tampa Bay, activated hundreds of Florida National Guard members and waived tolls to encourage those near the coast to evacuate inland.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is the Democratic nominee for governor, had planned to campaign in South Florida on Monday and Tuesday, but he said he would return to the city to help with storm preparations. "There's nothing between us and this storm but warm water and I think that's what terrifies us about the potential impacts".

A review of data maintained by the Agency for Health Care Administration shows that, in 33 counties encompassing the western half of the state south to Hernando County and east to Putnam County, more than half of the 412 assisted-living facilities and nursing homes have yet to implement their emergency power plans.

"This storm has the potential to be a historic storm, please take heed", the sheriff's office said in the post. "This storm will be life-threatening and really risky".

Tropical Storm Warnings have been extended eastward to include Suwannee, Hamilton, Clinch, and Echols counties locally. "It looked a couple of days ago like it was not going to be much, and now it's looking like it could be a very big one, so we're prepared".

Florida officials said that roughly 375,000 people have been urged or ordered to evacuate.

Hurricane Michael gained strength as it blew through Cancun and western Cuba.

Bay County Public Works placed sand for bagging at Pete Edwards Field at 7300 McElvey Rd., Panama City Beach and at the Deer Point Dam located on the NW side. Forecasters predict the storm will bring torrential rains and winds of upwards of 120 miles per hour.

Winds as strong as Michael is producing can inflict substantial damage to roofs and walls of even well-constructed homes, according to the National Weather Service. After that, the storm will head inland over Georgia, and then move into the Carolinas on Thursday.

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