Storm Michael to slam Florida as hurricane

Storm Michael to slam Florida as hurricane

Read the latest reports from the National Hurricane Center for Hurricane Michael.

But Orrock said even if the hurricane heads this way, it'll likely pass quickly. It is about 485 miles south of Panama City. It had maximum sustained winds of almost 100 miles per hour, with some higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of this morning, Michael was located near latitude 21.2 North, longitude 84.9 West. The central pressure had fallen 8 millibars to 970.

Michael's potential of more than 6' of water in some of these areas is the reasoning behind the National Weather Service's storm surge warning and subsequent evacuations of low-lying areas of northern Florida.

Michael is the seventh hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to the Suwanee River.

A storm surge warning - meaning risky flooding could strike in the next 36 hours - is in effect for a long swath of Florida's coast, from the Okaloosa-Walton county line east of Pensacola to the Anclote River, just north of Tampa Bay.

The storm is already lashing Cuba with strong winds and heavy rains.

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All watches and warnings remain unchanged from the previous advisory.

Florida's governor mobilised National Guard troops and thousands of Gulf Coast residents were ordered evacuated on Monday, two days before Hurricane Michael was forecast to slam ashore with life-threatening waves, winds and rains.

Carpenter said conditions could "start deteriorating" in Beaufort County late Tuesday at the earliest, but effects would be more likely Wednesday or Thursday. Movement was to the north at 7 miles per hour and the central pressure was 982 millibars. Michael could be as strong as a category 3 storm at that time.

"If you decide to stay in your home and a tree falls on your house or the storm surge catches you and you're now calling for help, there's no one that can respond to help you", Morgan said at a news conference.

About 3.7 million people are under hurricane warnings in the Panhandle and Big Bend regions, along with parts of southeastern Alabama and southern Georgia.

Speaking alongside emergency officials, Mr Scott declared a state of emergency for 35 counties and asked President Donald Trump for assistance ahead of the storm.

Florida State was also inviting its off-campus students, faculty and staff to weather the storm in the building where its basketball teams play. Forecasters warned that the storm could produce up to a foot (30 centimeters) of rain in western Cuba, potentially triggering flash floods and mudslides in mountainous areas.

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