Governor Ivey issues State of Emergency due to Hurricane Michael

An are of low pressure in the far western Caribbean is expected to develop into a tropical depression or even a tropical storm on Sunday. Michaels is the next name up. The storm could threaten the U.S. Gulf Coast by Wednesday

Only three major hurricanes Category 3 or higher have struck the Panhandle since 1950: Eloise in 1975, Opal in 1995 and Dennis in 2005.

Life-threatening storm surge is likely along portions of the coasts of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend, and Nature Coast, where a storm surge warning is in effect, the center warned in its 4 a.m. October 10 discussion document about the hurricane.

Heavy rains and flash-flooding over the weekend caused 13 deaths in Central America after Michael formed off the coast of northern Honduras. "Coastal areas could see high tides up to 1 to 2 feet higher than predicted through Thursday". The red tide in the Gulf of Mexico off southwest Florida that began last October after Hurricane Irma swept up the state has killed massive amounts of marine life and caused respiratory irritations in people. In a press conference on Monday, he said Hurricane Michael was a "massive storm".

"Start preparing today", NHC Director Ken Graham told people in the storm's path, in a Facebook video update Monday.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday declared a state of emergency for the entire state as the storm pushes its way toward the southern U.S.

Florida could be facing a major hurricane this week, as Tropical Storm Michael is expected to gain strength and hit the Sunshine State. "You can not hide from storm surge, so get out if an evacuation is ordered".

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has also designated 40 law-enforcement officers for rapid deployment. The winds right now could be sustained up to 80 miles per hour with gusts as high as 90-100 miles per hour.

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President Donald Trump approved a pre-landfall emergency declaration to provide federal money and help in Florida.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles to the northeast and southeast of the center.

The life-threatening storm is then expected to rapidly intensify, threatening anywhere to the right of Panama City with the potential of up to 12 feet of storm surge.

"That means the water will come miles in shore and could easily be over the roofs of houses", Scott said.

There is a risk for tornadoes in Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hurricane warnings are in effect from the Alabama/Florida state line to the Suwanee River along Florida's Big Bend.

In Pender County, officials are encouraging residents and businesses that suffered roof damage from Hurricane Florence to secure structures with tarps ahead of the storm. The area from Navarre, Florida, to Anna Maria Island was also placed under a storm surge watch. The primary threat will be tropical storm force winds, which are likely for most of our area. "As you get into the Big Bend area, this is going to be bad for those folks".

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