'We've Never Seen Anything Like It in the Panhandle': Monstrous Hurricane Michael Set to Strike Florida
12 October, 2018, 00:00
Michael made landfall at about 1:40 p.m. Wednesday near desolate Mexico Beach, Florida.
Michael was packing sustained winds of up to 85 miles per hour (140 kph) and gaining strength as it skirted past Cuba's western tip en route to a likely Wednesday landfall as the most powerful storm to strike the Florida Panhandle in at least a decade. It also was an October icon - the strongest continental United States hurricane to make an October landfall based on maximum sustained winds at 155 miles per hour.
Forecasters say Michael was upgraded to a Category 2 storm Tuesday morning, and it could make landfall as a Category 3.
This image captured by NASA shows Hurricane Michael, while still a Category 1 storm, as it moves through the Gulf.
"We've instructed our students to follow the instructions of the local authorities and to just be vigilant during the storm", Ms Johnson said.
Thousands of people hunkered down in shelters overnight after fleeing their homes ahead of the storm.
The declaration was made based on the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center regarding Hurricane Michael's forecast path and intensity as it moves into the state of Georgia.
Smith, in Gadsden County, said the situation was risky even for emergency personnel.
"It's our first storm (forecast) to be on top of us", Mollie Williams, a 17-year resident, said warily.
Smith could not provide details on the victim.
The area is known for its small beach towns, wildlife reserves and the state capital, Tallahassee.
General Terrence O Shaughnessy, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command, said some Florida residents may have been surprised by the rapid growth of the storm.
"The worst thing you can do now is act foolishly" by putting yourself in danger or keeping law enforcement from saving lives, he said at a news conference. "We haven t seen as robust of an evacuation response from the civilian population that we have seen in other storms". With Michael's winds projected to be even stronger, residents were urged to evacuate inland.
The Bahamian Consulate General in Georgia advised Bahamian students to be "vigilant" as the category four hurricane churns across the southeastern United States.
The two people killed in the storm were a man who died when a tree toppled onto his house in Florida and a girl who died when debris fell into a home in Georgia, officials and local media said.
An extreme wind warning (EWW) is issued when a landfalling hurricane is expected to bring winds of 115 miles per hour, or above to a specific location.
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED Extreme Wind Warning National Weather Service Tallahassee FL 1111 AM EDT WED OCT 10 2018The National Weather Service in Tallahassee has issued a* Extreme Wind Warning for.
"Hurricane Michael is an unprecedented event and can not be compared to any of our previous events". "Don't think that you can ride this out if you're in a low-lying area, " Nelson said on CNN.
As a result, the northeastern Gulf Coast is undergoing mandatory evacuations - that includes the Florida Panhandle (stretching into Big Bend) as well as parts of southeast Alabama and southern Georgia. Those areas have still not recovered from the flooding caused by last month's Hurricane Florence. "In the Atlanta metro area, we are expecting heavy winds and rain starting this (Wednesday) evening and into tomorrow (Thursday)".
Models indicate Michael appears to be zoning in on the Big Bend for potential landfall, though areas from Destin to Apalachicola are still in the "cone of uncertainty".