Hurricane Michael grows stronger on way to Florida

Oct 11, 2018, 18:47
Hurricane Michael grows stronger on way to Florida

The powerful storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Wednesday afternoon and ripped through the Florida Panhandle with 155 miles per hour winds and 12-foot waves.

Sally Crown rode out Michael on the Florida Panhandle thinking at first that the worst damage was the many trees downed in her yard.

At a midterm election rally in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night, Trump offered his "thoughts and prayers" to those in the path of the storm and said he would be visiting Florida soon.

State officials issued disaster declarations in Alabama and Georgia and the storm is also expected to bring heavy rainfall to North and SC.

According to Climate Central, a scientific research organization, the coming decades are expected to bring hurricanes that intensify more rapidly, should there be no change in the rate of greenhouse gas emissions.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward from Michael's center of circulation for 45 miles. "Take care of them", he said.

An estimated 375,000 people in more than 20 counties were ordered or advised to evacuate.

"It really started as a tropical storm, and then it went to Category 1, then it was Category 2 and before you know it, it was Category 4", O Shaughnessy said. Florida Peninsula, eastern Mid Atlantic, southern New England coast...1-3 inches.

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Forecasters anticipate Michael will reach land either in the Panhandle or somewhere along the state's Big Bend as soon as Wednesday morning.

It also brought the dangers of a life-threatening storm surge.

Michael could also dump up to a foot of rain over some panhandle communities before it sweeps through the Southeast and goes out to sea over the next few days.

Additional strengthening is projected over the next twenty-four hours, with Michael "forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall in Florida". "It looks like another big one".

But Brad Kieserman of the American Red Cross said Wednesday that as many as 320,000 people on Florida's Gulf Coast had disregarded mandatory or voluntary evacuation notices.

The governor activated 750 National Guardsmen for storm response on Monday, on top of the 500 activated the day before. Cedar Key to Chassahowitzka could see storm surge topping out between 4 feet to 6 feet. But the surging seawater could also create perilous problems far from the coast, raising rivers and bays to risky levels as it pushes as much as 10 to 15 miles inland. A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life- threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline.

"I know people are tired from Florence, but don't let this storm catch you with your guard down", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said, adding, "A number of homes have rooftop tarps that could be damaged or blown away with this wind". "There's nothing between us and this storm but warm water' and I think that's what terrifies us about the potential impacts".

Here are some other facts that show the power of this "monstrous storm".

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With a number of counties ordering evacuations, Scott waived highway tolls in the northwest part of the state.

The NHC said tropical storm Michael will continue to move northeast toward the Carolinas - as of 0900 GMT the eye was in eastern Georgia - until it moves off the mid-Atlantic coast by early Friday.

For residents who want to leave, local authorities are stressing timely evacuation, too.

A hurricane warning was issued for much of the Florida panhandle, with tropical storm watches and warnings issued for areas nearby. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov. Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and two of the University of Florida's North Florida Research and Education Centers are closed beginning today (October 9).

Mr Rick Scott told a news conference on Tuesday: "Hurricane Michael is a monster storm and it keeps getting more risky". The storm's maximum sustained winds have decreased to 50 miles per hour (80 kph) and it was moving to the northeast at 21 miles per hour (33 kph).

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has 120 wildlife officers ready for search-and-rescue operations.

As a category three hurricane Michael wreaked havoc in Cuba and Mexico, killing at least 13 people.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The most powerful hurricane on record to hit Florida's Panhandle left wide destruction and wasn't almost finished Thursday as it crossed Georgia toward the Carolinas, still reeling from epic flooding in Hurricane Florence.

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