Another major storm headed this way

Ignacio Smith
October 10, 2018

Up to 15 inches of rain is possible near where the storm makes landfall.

Everyone in hurricane and storm surge warning zones should prepare for life-threatening winds, the NHC said.

The storm is on track to become a hurricane on Monday, bringing heavy rain to the western tip of Cuba, before making landfall on the northeastern Gulf Coast on Wednesday. At that time, the system was producing maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour as it headed toward warm, atmospherically favorable Gulf waters. Life-threatening storm surge is likely along portions of the coasts of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend and Nature Coast. A catastrophic event is expected on the Florida coast, where storm surges could reach 8-12 feet.

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The NHC expects the center of Hurricane Michael to cross onto the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend Area on Wednesday. The governor has declared a state of emergency in 35 counties, and is stressing that residents should "absolutely" evacuate if ordered to.

"We (first) bumped it up to Tuesday night. and then we bumped it up to Tuesday morning", Cindy Guinn said.

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Michael is forecast to remain a tropical storm as it cuts through Georgia, the Carolinas and southeast Virginia.

In Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide state of emergency, saying on Twitter that it was "in anticipation of wide-spread power outages, wind damage and debris produced by high winds & heavy rain associated with #HurricaneMichael".

Alabama is under a state-wide state of emergency ahead of the hurricane, along with 92 counties in southern Georgia and 35 counties in Florida.

Hurricane Michael strengthened into a Category 2 storm on Tuesday morning with 100 miles per hour winds, continuing to gain power as it targets a forecast landfall in Florida's panhandle.

Past year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Hurricane Harvey - causing a record-equaling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.

There will be no shelters open in Wakulla County, the sheriff's office warned on Facebook, because they are rated safe only for hurricanes with top sustained winds below 178kmh.

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President Donald Trump, who was in Orlando delivering an address to a global association of police chiefs, said the federal government was ready and urged residents to be prepared for the worst.

"This is a part of the Gulf of Mexico that is incredibly vulnerable to storm surge", Graham said. The governor has also warned that there is a "significant" chance of tornadoes.

Volusia County Beach Safety secured non-essential equipment off of the beach due to the predicted wind and swell, said spokeswoman Captain Tamara Malphurs. A hurricane warning covered the Alabama-Florida border east to the Suwannee River.

This area includes Pensacola, Panama City and Tallahassee.

Hurricane Michael continues to push towards the Gulf of Mexico and looks to continue its trend of rapidly strengthening.

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

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