Hurricane Michael barrels toward the Gulf Coast of the USA

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Опубликовано 9 октября 2018, 22:18
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Live feed: Gulf Shores, Alabama

Florida Governor Rick Scott told reporters on Tuesday morning that Hurricane Michael was a "life-threatening storm" and that people along the coast should heed orders to evacuate.

He said the storm could produce a 12-foot (3.7-meter) coastal storm surge.

Hurricane Michael strengthened to a Category 2 storm on Tuesday as it moved toward the Florida Panhandle. Reside were ordered to get out of harm's way ahead of life-threatening waves, winds and rains.

Tens of thousands of people were told to evacuate the coastal areas in nine counties as the storm approached with winds of 100 miles per hour (155 km per hour). Michael could grow to a Category 3 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale before it makes landfall on Wednesday, potentially the most powerful storm to strike the Panhandle in at least a decade.

The storm was forecast to make landfall along a 150-mile (240-km) stretch of the Florida coast with Panama City at the centre, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. Residents along more than 300 miles of coastline, from the Alabama/Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida, have been told to brace for hurricane conditions, forecasters said.

As much as 1 foot (30 cm) of rain is also forecast across Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, the NHC reported.

It warned that both could trigger deadly flooding, adding that residents within the hurricane warning zone should also "prepare for life-threatening winds."

Scott declared a state of emergency in 35 counties along the Panhandle and Florida's Big Bend regions. About 1,250 National Guard soldiers were assisting and more than 4,000 troops were placed on standby.

State offices, schools and universities were closed through the end of the week in Panhandle counties. Lines at gasoline stations grew as people left. Those who stayed emptied grocery store shelves of water and other supplies.

In neighboring Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey declared an emergency for the entire state on Monday, anticipating wind damage, heavy rains and power outages.

Hurricane Michael would be the first major hurricane to hit the Panhandle since Hurricane Dennis in 2005, which made landfall near Pensacola, according to hurricane center data.

Torrential downpours and flash flooding over the weekend caused 13 deaths in Central America after Michael formed off the coast of northern Honduras.

After striking Florida, Michael is forecast to move up the East Coast on Wednesday and Thursday through the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

Mass evacuations:
thesun.co.uk/news/7440747/hurricane-mich...


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