Published: Mon, October 08, 2018

Tropical storm watch issued for Manatee as Tropical Storm Michael approaches Florida

Tropical storm watch issued for Manatee as Tropical Storm Michael approaches Florida

Through Wednesday, the zone of greatest concern spans the Florida Panhandle from Pensacola to Apalachicola, including Destin and Panama City Beach, and the Big Bend area to its east.

Outer bands from Michael are expected produce as much as 4 inches of rain through Tuesday in the Florida Keys, one of several areas in the state devastated by Hurricane Irma past year.

The storm surge, which is the rise on ocean water at the coast above normally dry land, could reach at least 8 to 12 feet, inundating roads, homes, and businesses at the coast.

Manatee County and Anna Maria Island also were under a storm surge watch as of 6 a.m., and the storm surge watch stretches to Navarre.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely risky", Scott said at a press briefing.

"Our state understands how serious tropical weather is and how devastating any hurricane of tropical storm can be", Scott said in a statement.

Eastern, Michael's peak winds attained hurricane-strength, climbing to 75 miles per hour, as it moved north at 7 miles per hour.

"Michael is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flash flooding over portions of western Cuba and the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico during the next couple of days", the center said. Another Watch is in effect for the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border. "We're going to get storm surge, we have wind, we have a chance of flooding, we have a significant chance of tornadoes".

"A northward motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected through Tuesday night, followed by a northeastward motion on Wednesday and Thursday", the NHC said in its Monday morning advisory.

The storm will more than likely strengthen during the next few days with winds reaching a Category 2 hurricane, or possibly higher when it reaches the northeastern Gulf on Tuesday or Wednesday.

A hurricane watch has been issued from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to the Suwanee River, Florida.

"Let's all stay safe and watch this storm closely".

Not only is the coastline in danger, so are inland areas of Florida, Alabama and Georgia, forecasters warn.

The storm is expected to be a Category 2 when it makes landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center, though forecasters haven't ruled out the possibility of it being a Category 3 storm.

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