Ivey issues state of emergency for Alabama

Ismael LynchOct 11, 2018

The National Hurricane Center is telling residents to take this threat seriously and to expect storm surge and heavy rainfall along with risky winds.

Florida State University said its campuses in Tallahassee and Panama City will be closed from Tuesday to Friday.

Once a tropical storm, Hurricane Michael is expected to strike the Florida Panhandle with Category 3 winds of 74-plus miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says in a Tuesday evening advisory that Michael has become a Category 3 hurricane and is moving north across the Gulf of Mexico at 12 miles per hour (19 kph).

The storm could bring up to 12 inches of rainfall and is expected to make landfall as a category three hurricane on Wednesday morning.

The storm became a category 1 hurricane on Monday, and could be a category 2 or 3 storm by the time it hits Florida.

The center reported that the hurricane was likely to produce potentially catastrophic wind damage where its core moves ashore, and unsafe hurricane-force winds will extend well inland across portions of the Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia, and southeast Alabama as Michael moves inland.

The first rains from Michael were already beginning to soak the Florida Keys on Monday, with up to 10 centimeters expected to fall through Tuesday.

If it makes landfall as a Category 4, it'll be the strongest hurricane to hit the Florida Panhandle in recorded history, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.

Aside from causing power outages, flooding and property damage, Michael could also worsen a toxic algae bloom that has plagued Florida's beaches for a year.

Tolls were being suspended in the state's northwest region to ease the evacuation process, and the Florida Highway Patrol is sending almost 350 state troopers to the Panhandle and Big Bend areas, Scott said.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for 35 counties, a move that frees up resources for storm preparation and activates 500 members of the Florida National Guard.

"Alabama is once again in the path of a hurricane, but I know Alabamians will once again come together and be prepared for whatever Michael may bring", Governor Ivey said.

Hurricane Michael continues to strengthen as the storm moves farther north into the Gulf of Mexico. The storm is located about 220 miles south of Panama City, Florida.

Some southern Alabama counties were under a tropical storm watch, and high surf warnings were in effect on the coast. This soon to be tropical storm will be a big rain maker and could become a hurricane in a couple of days.

There was a storm surge warning in effect from the Okaloosa/Walton county line to the Anclote River in Florida, and a storm surge watch in effect from Ocracoke Inlet, N.C., to Duck, N.C.

Another national, Neil Fung, said the storm looks like " a major one".

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