Tracking Hurricane Michael; It's Potential Impact in the Triad

Larry Hoffman
October 9, 2018

As it moves into the warm gulf waters, the storm is expected to intensify to a Category 3 hurricane, bringing heavy rains and gusty winds to Florida's panhandle when it makes landfall sometime on Wednesday, October 10.

The hurricane, which was upgraded from a tropical storm to a Category 1 system on Monday, is expected to reach the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday.

Energy companies halted almost a fifth of Gulf of Mexico oil production and evacuated staff from 10 platforms on Monday as Michael was forecast to become the strongest of three named storms to affect the U.S. Gulf of Mexico this year.

ABC News added that The National Hurricane Center estimates that the storm surge from Michael could be anywhere between seven and 11 feet high in some areas.

As of Monday morning, the storm passed close to the Yucatan Peninsula with maximum sustained winds around 75 miles per hour.

Michael's large size, strong winds and heavy rains could produce hazardous flooding along a stretch of Florida's Gulf coast with many rivers and estuaries where seawater pushed ashore by a hurricane could get trapped, said Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham.

The NHC said in a tweet that a "life-threatening" storm surge and flash flooding is likely in areas of the Florida Panhandle and described the storm as "dangerous".

Late Sunday, Gillum's campaign announced he scrapped campaign stops planned Monday and Tuesday in South Florida to return to Tallahassee to "focus on preparing the city of Tallahassee and residents" for the storm. When it first reached tropical storm status, it was expected to become no stronger than a category 1 hurricane.

Newsday contacted the TT Consulate General in Miami to find out if any special instructions were being issued to TT nationals about the hurricane, butp to press time, officials there were unable to provide any information on it.

The storm was moving north at 9 miles per hour, up from 7 miles per hour earlier in the day.

The likelihood that Flagler County will receive some sustained tropical storm force winds is between 18 and 40 percent, a county-issued advisory stated in late afternoon. HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND -------- WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area by this evening or tonight, making outside preparations hard or risky.

Mark Wool, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, said the storm will be more damaging than Hurricane Hermine, which hit Tallahassee and other areas of the Big Bend in 2016. A warning indicates tropical storm conditions are expected, in this case, within 24 hours.

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in more than 20 counties along the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend.

Walt Disney World Resort is located in Orlando, Florida, and is now not under any kind of storm watch or warning.

As Hurricane Michael aims for the Florida Panhandle, people are boarding up and moving out.

"You can't survive storm surge", he said. "Don't take a chance", he said.

This storm is very different than Florence because it will NOT stall.

Michael, which formed near the Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday, is expected to dump 4 to 8 inches of rain - and as much as 12 inches in some areas - on western Cuba before it hits the United States.

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