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Hurricane Michael gains strength, takes aim at north Florida
12 October 2018, 01:31 | Justin Tyler
Florida Governor Rick Scott urges residents to obey evacuation orders as Hurricane Michael strengthens to a Category 2 storm. The pressure was down to 957 millibars.
"It is now heading 12 miles per hour toward the Panhandle and it's only predicted to increase its speed", Hurts said.
In its discussion, the center said the environment ahead of Michael was conducive to intensification.
A Flash Flood Watch and Tropical Storm Watch have been issued for Wayne County and surrounding areas.
Residents along the east coast of the United States of America are braced for the arrival of Hurricane Michael which has gained new strength over warm tropical waters amid fears it will intensify before striking north east Florida.
"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". The minimum central pressure recently measured by the reconnaissance aircraft was 947 mb (27.97 inches).
"We don't know if it's going to wipe out our house or not", Jason McDonald, of Panama City, said as he and his wife drove north to safety into Alabama with their two children, ages 5 and 7.
Forecasters say the center of Michael will continue to move over the southern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday morning.
A hurricane hunter plane that bounced into the swirling eye of Michael off the western tip of Cuba late Monday found wind speeds were rising even as forecasters warned the storm could reach major hurricane status with winds topping 111 miles per hour (179 kph) by Tuesday night.
As of 5 a.m. ET on October 9, Michael's center was about 420 miles south of Panama City, Florida and 390 miles south of Apalachicola, Florida. 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.
"It is a monstrous storm and the forecast (keeps) getting more unsafe", Florida Governor Rick Scott said. Still looking like a landfall somewhere near Panama City Beach Wednesday afternoon. Residents in these areas should follow advice given by local officials, and keep tabs on live updates, which are available from CNN.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for.
Several people were taken by van from coastal Wakulla County to Tallahassee's Leon County to the north. Wakulla County's shelters are not considered reliable against storms stronger than a Category 2.
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.
Some additional strengthening is possible today before Michael makes landfall in the Florida Panhandle or the Florida Big Bend area. Tropical-storm force winds extending 185 miles (295 kilometres) from the centre were already lashing the coast.
Areas from the Anclote River in Pasco County to the south remained under a Storm Surge Watch and Tropical Storm Watch, while areas to the north were under a Storm Surge Warning.
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