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Hurricane Michael heads toward Florida Panhandle, 13 deaths in its wake

Hurricane Michael heads toward Florida Panhandle, 13 deaths in its wake

"That means you need to make sure that you have backup generation power, or you shouldn't be taking care of the patients".

"Hurricane Michael is a monstrous storm, and the forecast keeps getting more risky", Gov. Rick Scott said at a morning news conference. The storm could inundate more than one-fourth of that coast's dunes, causing flooding behind the protective dune line, said Kara Doran, leader of the USGS Coastal Change Hazards Storm Team.

"This has been different from a lot of the storms we've seen since I've been governor", said Gov. Rick Scott. "Do not think you can survive it". Because he owns two businesses in the area, Givens, who lives inland, said he was not evacuating.

If Michael's forecast holds true, the storm's surge and waves could bring water levels as high as 16 to 20 feet in the Florida Panhandle.

He said, "There's nothing between us and this storm but warm water and I think that's what terrifies us about the potential impacts".

The Category 1 storm was centered about 390 miles (627 kilometers) south of Apalachicola and 420 miles (675 kilometers) south of Panama City, Florida.

In neighboring Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey declared an emergency for the entire state on Monday, anticipating wind damage, heavy rains and power outages. At present, a maximum of 10 inches of rain is forecast to fall over the Florida panhandle and southern Georgia. The storm's interaction with a high pressure to the north is helping to create hazardous conditions on local beaches where Weather Service advisories are in effect. Forecasters also warned spinoff tornadoes would also be a threat.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...

"It's expected to become a Category 3 storm - a major hurricane". By 8 a.m. Tuesday, top winds had reached 100 miles per hour (155 kph), and it was forecast to strengthen more, with winds topping 111 miles per hour (179 kph), capable of causing devastating damage.

Hurricane Michael will make landfall along the Gulf Coast Wednesday as a Category 3 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm was centered about 390 miles (627 kilometers) south of Apalachicola and 420 miles (675 kilometers) south of Panama City, Florida.

A hurricane hunter plane that bounced into the swirling eye off the western tip of Cuba found wind speeds rising.

Tropical Storm Watches and Hurricane Watches have been issued for portions of the Gulf Coast from Alabama-Mississippi border to Tampa Bay, Florida.

A hurricane warning is in place from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida. "You will see power outages", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Office of Response and Recovery. Scott says that as evacuations are ordered, he will waive tolls.

The storm will bring an 8-12 foot storm surge.

A top emergency manager expressed concern about storm preparations.

Hurricane Michael passed through western Cuba on Monday evening and is projected to hit Florida's Panhandle on Wednesday afternoon.

Residents of barrier islands, mobile homes and low-lying coastal areas in Gulf, Wakulla and Bay counties were ordered to evacuate by late Monday or early Tuesday. Since 1851, according to Colorado State University hurricane scientist Phil Klotzbach, nine major hurricanes have struck the Panhandle since semi-accurate record-keeping began in 1851.

In a Facebook post Monday, the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office said no shelters would be open because Wakulla County shelters were rated safe only for hurricanes with top sustained winds below 111 miles per hour (178 kph).


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