Hurricane Michael heads for FL; Means more rain for WNC

Hurricane Michael heads for FL; Means more rain for WNC

After it makes landfall in the Panhandle or Big Bend, the storm is expected to head northeast across Georgia and the Carolinas, which are still recovering from widespread flood damage from a slow-moving Hurricane Florence last month.

More than 20 counties have been ordered to evacuate as the Category 2 storm continues to gain strength and has already disrupted oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm could unleash coastal storm surges of up to 3.7 meters along the Florida Panhandle and dump up to 30 cm of rain across Florida, Georgia and SC.

Kemp said the bill totaled over $800 when she and her family fled Hurricane Irma's uncertain path a year ago.

"You can not hide from storm surge", Governor Rick Scott said Tuesday.

Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said there were just hours left until Michael's wind gusts and rain bands would start whipping the coast.

On the Florida Panhandle, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan bluntly advised residents who choose to ride out the storm that first responders would not be able to reach them during or immediately after Michael smashes into the coast.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely unsafe", Scott said on Sunday. Residents in these areas should follow advice given by local officials, and keep tabs on live updates, which are available from CNN. Tropical storm watches are in effect in some coastal areas of Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and SC.

For Volusia and Flagler counties, the hurricane's path to the west will bring an increased chance of showers and thunderstorms, with gusty winds on Wednesday and Thursday.

"Michael is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flash flooding over portions of western Cuba during the next day or so", it said.

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These storm surges can cause more damage from flooding than the winds.

Gov. Rick Scott warned people across northwest Florida at a news conference Tuesday morning that the "monstrous hurricane" was just hours away, bringing deadly risks from high winds, storm surge and heavy rains. "That means the water will come miles in shore and could easily be over the roofs of houses", Scott said.

Some 1,250 National Guard soldiers are helping residents in coastal areas to find safety, and another 4,000 are on standby, Mr Scott said. By Friday (Oct. 12), the storm will make its way out over the northern Atlantic, NOAA is now predicting.

Meanwhile, Surfline is offering several live streams of beaches in Florida that may be impacted, including Twin Piers in Manatee County, Anna Maria Island beach, Panama City Beach, and the Venice Beach jetties.

While Florence took five days between the time it turned into a hurricane and the moment it rolled into the Carolinas, Michael gave Florida what amounted to two days' notice. Storm surge rises rapidly Wednesday morning and afternoon.

The hurricane's effects will be felt far from its eye.

Michael is also predicted to be the strongest hurricane based on wind speed to hit continental USA landfall this year.

Storm surge warnings are also in place along the Florida and Alabama coasts.

In advance of the storm on Monday, emergency managers ordered mandatory evacuations along the coast expected to see the fiercest winds and highest surge, including Wakulla, Franklin, Gulf and Bay counties. He said Tuesday that he doesn't expect he'll get resupplied soon, because stations nearer to interstate highways will get priority. Residents also lined up to buy gas and groceries even as evacuations - both voluntary and mandatory - were expected to pick up the pace Tuesday.

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