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Hurricane Michael: Flights grounded across Florida Panhandle; airlines waive fees

Hurricane Michael: Flights grounded across Florida Panhandle; airlines waive fees

President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration for the state, freeing up federal funds for relief operations and providing the assistance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Peaking with winds of 155 miles per hour, Hurricane Michael is now grinding across land at 125mph as a Category 3 storm. But many older houses aren't built to withstand a beast like Michael.

"Water is going to come up, it´s going to cover your roof".

Six airports in the Florida Panhandle have closed in anticipation of the storm's impacts.

A possible catastrophic landfall with destructive storm surge, winds and rain on the Florida Panhandle near Panama City is now predicted around 3 p.m. We've got as prepared as we can. Tallahassee should be on the right side of the storm which is usually the strongest and will likely see widespread power outages.

Many hurricanes sputter out after they hit land and lose the title of hurricane.

The storm is a category three out of five on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.

"Because of the forward movement - the decent forward movement it has - you're going to see a hurricane stay intact through southwest and central Georgia", Long said. All the way up to the Carolinas, destructive flooding from the storm's rains is expected.

The Panhandle is looking at life-threatening storm surge that will be between 9 to 14 feet above ground from Panama City to the Aucilla River, and 4 to 9 feet in most other parts of the region associated with the storm's landfall.

The Suncoast already experienced some flooding Tuesday and overnight into Wednesday due to the high ride combined with storm surge from Michael.

Previous year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Harvey, which caused a record-equaling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.

"Those who stick around to witness storm surge don't typically live to talk about it", he said. Hurricane Michael is so potentially risky, that a restaurant that never closes is officially closed.

The hurricane was expected to gradually weaken as it passed over the southeastern United States, the hurricane center said.

In the hours and days ahead, the storm is expected to take a largely easterly course, pushing up through Georgia and the Carolinas before eventually making its way back out to sea sometime after Thursday evening.

Members of the Florida National Guard chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense (CBRN) Enhanced Response Force Package prepare to help citizens in affected areas prior to landfall of Hurricane Michael at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center near Starke, Fla., on October 9, 2018.

- Lingering Tropical Storm Leslie became a hurricane again late Tuesday and remained a minimal hurricane early Wednesday with maximum winds of 75 miles per hour.

"We are in new territory", National Hurricane Center meteorologist Dennis Feltgen wrote on Facebook. They're actually more at risk.


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