Florida is braced for a hurricane 'catastrophe'

Pablo Tucker
October 10, 2018

The storm was expected to make landfall on Wednesday, bringing hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall.

Beach dwellers rushed to board up their homes and sandbag their properties against the fast-moving hurricane, which was expected to blow ashore around midday Wednesday.

As of 8 a.m. EDT Tuesday, Michael's top sustained winds had strengthened to 100 miles per hour as it headed north-northwest at 12 miles per hour. "Do not risk your life, leave NOW if you were told to do so", it said.

Michael is expected to be the strongest hurricane, based on wind speeds, to make landfall in the continental U.S. since Irma in September of past year.

Michael, which is located about 170 miles (275 kilometers) southwest of Apalachicola, Florida, packing maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (210 kph), is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area later on Wednesday.

His Democratic opponent in Florida's Senate race, Sen.

Now Hurst and so many others along the Gulf Coast are facing a Category 4 storm bearing down. A storm surge warning was also in effect from Florida's Okaloosa-Walton county line to the Anclote River near Tampa. It made landfall on the coast as a Category 1 hurricane on 14 September and drenched some parts of the state with 40 inches of rain. Michael is shaping up to be even more powerful than Florence, which weakened just ahead of its landfall. The Carolinas are still recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Florence six weeks ago, and Michael is expected to be orders of magnitude stronger than Florence.

"As Hurricane Michael nears landfall, we are working with state and local officials in Florida to take all necessary precautions", Trump said Monday.

With the storm approaching ever closer, Gov. Scott warned that first responders will no longer be able to make it to evacuation zones.

As the storm closed in on the US, it caused havoc in the Caribbean.

In Cuba, it dumped more than 10 inches of rain in places, flooding fields, damaging roads, knocking out power and destroying some homes in the western province of Pinar del Rio.

The Florida Disaster website on October 9 said that parts or all of Bay County, Citrus County, Franklin County, Dixie County, Gulf County, Jackson County, Levy County, Okaloosa County, Taylor County, Wakulla County, and Walton County have been issued mandatory evacuation orders.

Sheriff A.J. Smith in Franklin County, near the vulnerable coast, sent his deputies door to door Tuesday urging people to evacuate, saying they did everything they could to get the word out.

Scott also told Florida hospitals and nursing homes to do all they can to assure the safety of the elderly and infirm.

Strong waves have already begun to impact the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend coastline, with warnings these could reach up to 13ft tall.

"If you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient".

Both NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft have flown through the hurricane's four quadrants - and the NHC says, "The planes actually passed through the eye around the same time [Tuesday morning], and reported that they could see one another".

"Think about what we've seen before with storms like Hurricane Irma", he said.

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