Michael is forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Panhandle in decades. SURF: Swells generated by Michael are affecting the coasts of the eastern and northern Gulf of Mexico, and will spread to portions of the northwestern and western Gulf of Mexico coast during the next day or so. Its sustained winds were just 2 miles per hour (3.2 kph) shy of an extremely rare Category 5.
In a 5 p.m. update on October 9, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Michael has strengthened to a “major hurricane” and has life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall.
“Today is the day. Take care of them”, he said.
Steve Litschauer, the interim director of the Manatee County Emergency Management Center, said Hurricane Michael could bring 2 to 4 feet of storm surge along the coast with an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain.
Elsewhere in Bay County, residents reported waiting up to 40 mins in long lines for gasoline as they gathered supplies ahead of the storm.
The storm is expected to make landfall on Wednesday. Southwestern Franklin County in Big Bend of Florida.* Until 215 PM EDT/115 PM CDT/.* At 1109 AM EDT/1009 AM CDT/, National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated extreme winds in excess of 130 miles per hour, associated with the eyewall of Hurricane Michael, were moving onshore.
Further inland, officials warned residents living in mobile homes that are especially vulnerable to hurricane-force winds.
Trump issued an emergency declaration for Florida, freeing up federal funds for relief operations and providing the assistance of FEMA, which has more than 3,000 people on the ground.
Michael was forecast to have the power to uproot trees, block roads and knock out power for days by the time it hits Florida Wednesday. “It looks like another big one”.
Roofs were peeled away and homes were split open by fallen trees, while more than 380,000 homes and businesses were without power at the height of the storm.
“Because of the damage caused by Hurricane Florence, and the fact that there’s still some standing water in places, we have to be that much more alert about the damage that Hurricane Matthew could do”, Cooper said.
A year ago 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. But the surging seawater could also create perilous problems far from the coast, raising rivers and bays to unsafe levels as it pushes as much as 10 to 15 miles inland.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for.
“I’ve been talking to mayors, to county commissioners, I think people are taking this serious”, Scott said.
Scott has declared an emergency in 35 Florida counties and activated hundreds of National Guard troops.
Michael battered the shoreline with sideways rain, powerful gusts and crashing waves, swamping streets and docks, flattening trees, stripped away leaves, shredding awnings and peeling away shingles.
While residents are bracing for landfall, environmental experts are watching to see harmful algae levels fall – or, possibly, rise – according to a report by AccuWeather.
With a number of counties ordering evacuations, Scott waived highway tolls in the northwest part of the state.