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article imageFlorida Panhandle bracing for'monstrous' Hurricane Michael

By Karen Graham     Oct 9, 2018 in Environment
Hurricane Michael has strengthened to a Category 2 storm and is forecast to strike the Florida Panhandle as a Category 3 with dangerous storm surge flooding, destructive winds, and flooding rainfall.
Hurricane Michael is now about 360 miles (580 kilometers) south of Panama City, Florida, moving to the north-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph) and bearing maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph). The latest minimum central pressure reported by the NOAA aircraft is 965 mb (28.50 inches).
Officials all along the Florida panhandle are warning residents that Hurricane Micheal is a monstrous and very dangerous storm,s urging residents to heed evacuation orders. Many people are complacent, believing the warnings are an over-reaction to the possible danger involved.
Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki said "There's gonna be a certain time when first responders, police or fire, won't be able to get to you. So that's why if we ask you to leave, you need to leave because if you need help, we won't be able to help you." He also noted that once wind speeds reach 50 miles per hour, the city won't be running any police or fire vehicles.
A hurricane warning is posted for the Florida Gulf coast from the Alabama/Florida border to Suwanee River, Florida, including Pensacola, Panama City, and Tallahassee. The hurricane warning also extends inland to southwestern Georgia, including Albany.
Where will Michael make landfall?
This is one time where the American and European storm-tracking models are just about the same. Both the American and European models have the storm making landfall just east of Panama City and only miles apart from each other.
Both models are indicating a major hurricane at landfall. Mexico Beach is currently forecast to be on the east side of the storm and both models are predicting sustained winds over 120 mph.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal just declared a state of emergency in 92 counties; it will last for seven days. “The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Michael,” Gov. Deal said in a statement. “In light of the storm’s forecasted track, I encourage Georgians in the affected counties to be prepared and remain vigilant.
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