ibusinesslines.com October 21, 2018

Record-setting Hurricane Michael threatens massive destruction along Florida Panhandle

10 October 2018, 08:10 | Justin Tyler

Closings due to Hurricane Michael A satellite view of Hurricane Michael as the storm bears down on Florida

Closings due to Hurricane Michael

The unexpected brute quickly sprang from a weekend tropical depression, reaching Category 4 early Wednesday as it drew energy from the Gulf of Mexico's 84-degree waters.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm is now packing maximum wind gusts of 210 kilometers, could grow even more and is expected to slam ashore later in the day along the Florida Panhandle or Big Bend area as a "life-threatening event".

"Hurricane Michael is a monstrous storm", said Florida Gov. Rick Scott, at a Tuesday news conference, adding that it could bring "total devastation to parts of our state, especially in the Panhandle".

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) delivered a troubling forecast of his own, saying there will be fatal consequences if people try to go out unprotected.

"We've got canned food and a can opener", Thomas told AP.

Maximum sustained winds are at 140 miles per hour as it moves north over the Gulf of Mexico at 13 miles per hour. "If it does I guess we'll be swimming", he said Tuesday evening as the sky darkened overhead.

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.

As of 06.00 am, Michael was about 290 kilometers south of Panama City and moving north at 19 kph.

Now packing winds of 130mph, the NHC says Michael may strengthen even further before it makes landfall.

Residents in Florida are scrambling to prepare for the imminent landfall of Hurricane Michael. And about 375,000 people along the Gulf Coast were told to evacuate.

We do have a chance for severe weather with any squall that moves through and an isolated tornado can not be ruled out.

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.

"It's just not fair", he said.

People visit the beach while waiting for Hurricane Michael in Panama City Beach, Florida. Hurricane Michael was "an extremely risky Category 4 hurricane" on Wednesday morning, with maximum sustained winds up to almost 145 miles per hour and some gusts higher, the hurricane center said in a bulletin.

"This storm will bring torrential rain, heavy winds and unsafe storm surges to many areas of our state", he tweeted.

"This building just shook, I mean I was scared". Michael will likely be the fourth.

If peak surges occur at the time of high tide, a 130-mile stretch of the coast from Tyndall Air Force Base to the Aucilla River could see storm surges as high as 14 feet.

Is it expected to crawl up the US East Coast after making landfall on the Gulf Coast, and could bring rains to the Carolinas, which were drenched by Hurricane Florence last month. Local authorities fear power outages and major tree damage from Michael. The storm will track off the coast of Atlantic Canada late Friday into Saturday, before departing into the north Atlantic Saturday night.

Waves crash along a pier as the outer bands of Hurricane Michael arrive on October 10, 2018 in Panama City Beach, Fla.

As of noon, there were almost 30,000 customers without power, according to state emergency management officials, including almost 8,400 in Bay County, where Panama City is expected to bear the brunt of storm.

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