Hurricane Michael may affect Sumter area later this week

Howard TerryOct 10, 2018

US Rep. Neal Dunn, whose district includes Panama City, urged people under evacuation orders to get out before tropical-storm-force winds arrived.

Michael is projected to plough into Florida's panhandle at midday on Wednesday, unleashing potentially devastating waves of seawater as high as 12 feet (3.6 metres) that could rush inland for miles around the storm's centre, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned.

The center warned heavy rain, unsafe winds and life-threatening storm surges were possible across Western Cuba on Monday as winds picked up speed on the Gulf Coast.

Torrential downpours could produce "life-threatening flash flooding", the NHC said, from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of the Carolinas through Thursday.

Storm surge is not much of a concern because forecasters expect the hurricane to move quickly across the state, Martin said. That's five times higher than runner-up Louisiana, which has experienced seven October hurricane hits, including three major hurricanes, according to National Hurricane Center records.

Hurricane Michael is coming.

The storm is forecast to make landfall near Panama City, Florida, as a strong Category 3 on Wednesday afternoon.

Currently, Michael is located 295 miles south of Panama City, Florida, and 270 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River, and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Florida's west coast from the Suwannee River to Chassahowitzka. A tropical storm watch has been issued from South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina, including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

Hurricane Michael is expected to hit the Florida panhandle as a major storm on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 10) - and USA weather satellites are busy watching the storm to help meteorologists keep people safe.

Wes Maul, the director of the state's division of emergency management, sent an email late Monday night to state legislators, county officials and mayors statewide saying state emergency management staff had not received "nearly the volume of mission requests that the current scenario would normally dictate" ahead of Michael's arrival.

As of the 8 p.m. advisory, Michael is a Category 3. So, if you take in those tides, which are already a few feet above what they should be, and then you add the storm surge on top of that, both of those numbers combined nine to 13 feet of storm surge.

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 35 counties and said he was seeking a federal disaster declaration from President Donald Trump, who promised full support for Florida's efforts.

"If you decide to stay in your home and a tree falls on your house or the storm surge catches you and you're now calling for help, there's no one that can respond to help you", Morgan said at a news conference.

The storm is likely also to dump prodigious amounts of rain over Florida, Alabama and Georgia as well as the Carolinas, which are still reeling from severe flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. With just a month to go before Election Day, voters were also given one more day to register to vote, once offices reopen after the storm.

Clay Electric said it is anticipating most of the damage from Hurricane Michael will be in its Lake City and Gainesville service areas.

Mandatory evacuations are underway for Citrus County residents living in Zone A, or in mobile homes. "The state is not taking this storm lightly and neither should any family".

In Florida, state offices, schools and universities were set to close on Tuesday through the end of the week in panhandle counties.

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