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Tropical Storm Michael prompts hurricane watch for part of Florida
10 October 2018, 04:32 | Darnell Patrick
“Michael” Could be in Our Forecast by End of Week
As of 5 a.m. Monday, Tropical Storm Michael reached winds of 70 miles per hour and is moving through deep, warm water as it approaches the Gulf of Mexico. Impacts from Tropical Storm Michael will be experienced much sooner than the actual landfall itself (which occurs when the due center of the eye crosses over land). Additional strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days.
FEMA administrator Brock Long said the agency was prepared for the storm in all the states likely to feel Michael's impact.
A tropical storm that rapidly formed off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula has gained new strength and could become a risky Category 2 hurricane with an expected midweek strike on the Gulf Coast in the Florida Panhandle, forecasts say. "Michael is forecast to be near or at major hurricane strength when it reaches the northeastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night and Wednesday", the hurricane center said.
Michael is a major category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 125 miles per hour while it continues to move across the Gulf of Mexico.
The threat for tornadoes will increase late Tuesday into Wednesday over parts of the Florida panhandle, the northern Florida Peninsula, and southern Georgia.
Tropical Storm Michael became the thirteen named storm in the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season on Sunday afternoon.
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"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely risky", Scott said Sunday after receiving a briefing at the State Emergency Operations Center.
Gov. Rick Scottsaid he intends to declare a state of emergency for counties in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend areas as the region begins to ready itself for the storm. Storm surge could reach heights of 6 to 9 feet from the Okaloosa-Walton County line to Mexico Beach and from Keaton Beach to Cedar Key.
Godsey said winds in the tropical storm range could result in downed trees and power outages.
Tropical Storm watches were extended to include the MS coastal counties with the 4 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center. "Storm surge can occur before, during, or after the center of a storm passes through an area".
Florida's capital city of Tallahassee, which is in the Panhandle, opened two locations Sunday where residents could get sandbags to prepare for flooding. Scott said state officials are already working on planning, logistics and first response with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Defense. Our state understands how serious tropical weather is and how devastating any hurricane or tropical storm can be.
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Hurricane Michael Gains Strength, Takes Aim at North Florida
The NHC expects the center of Hurricane Michael to cross onto the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend Area on Wednesday. Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 35 counties along Florida's Panhandle and Big Bend regions.
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