Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
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'Potentially catastrophic' Hurricane Michael strengthens to Category 2, targets Florida

'Potentially catastrophic' Hurricane Michael strengthens to Category 2, targets Florida

It is nearly a major hurricane with sustained winds at 110 miles per hour. As Michael nears landfall, we're sharing all you need to know about the impending storm.

"Hurricane Michael is a monster storm and it keeps getting more risky", Florida Governor Rick Scott told a news conference on Tuesday. They can cause catastrophic damage and flooding, toppling houses and destroying roads.

Some additional strengthening is possible today before Michael makes landfall in the Florida Panhandle or the Florida Big Bend area.

The Florida Peninsula, eastern mid Atlantic and southern New England coast could see as much as 3 inches of rain. Tropical storm warnings cover 8.5 million people in several states.

But from the speed of the storm, Hurts said it seems more certain Michael's path won't slip east before it makes landfall.

Evacuations have been ordered in parts of 10 counties.

Florida Governor Rick Scott urges residents to obey evacuation orders as Hurricane Michael strengthens to a Category 2 storm. "You can not hide from storm surge, so get out if an evacuation is ordered".

"Outer band of Hurricane Michael coming ashore here", Jon Ward in Panama City said on Twitter.

"I know people are worn out from Florence, but don't let this storm catch you with your guard down", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said, adding, "A number of homes have rooftop tarps that could be damaged or blown away with this wind".

As the Category-4 storm bore down on Florida, one man thought he'd be fine to take the dinghy out.

Tuesday afternoon, President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration for Florida.

Forecasters said parts of the Panhandle and Florida's marshy, lightly populated Big Bend area - the crook of Florida's elbow - could see 9 to 13 feet (2.7 to 4 meters) of storm surge.

"If you don't follow warnings from officials this storm could kill you", said Scott, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate in November's congressional elections.

Tallahassee International Airport ‏is suspending commercial flight activity as 12:01 a.m. ET on Wednesday but expects to resume activity on Thursday.

More than 20 million people are under a hurricane watch or warning across five states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina).

A storm surge warning is in effect from the Okaloosa-Walton County line to the Anclote River in Florida.

Anxious meteorologists said it had the potential of becoming one of the worst storms in the history of Florida's Panhandle. Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 35 miles (56 kilometers) from the core and tropical-storm-force winds out 175 miles (280 kilometers).

"You haven't got anywhere to go (if the bridges close)", he said Tuesday. "Do not risk your life, leave NOW if you were told to do so", the NWS in Tallahassee, Florida, tweeted Wednesday morning.

The governor of Georgia has declared a state of emergency for 92 counties ahead of Hurricane Michael's landfall on October 10.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide state of emergency, saying on Twitter it was "in anticipation of wide-spread power outages, wind damage and debris produced by high winds & heavy rain associated with Hurricane Michael".

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