State of emergency declared in Florida as 'life-threatening' Hurricane Michael surges towards state
Governor Rick Scott warned residents, saying that the hurricane could have winds up to 111 mph when it makes landfall in Florida on early Wednesday
Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a state of emergency for 26 counties in the Florida Panhandle on Sunday, after a storm was upgraded to a hurricane and continues to gains strength across the Gulf as it heads towards the state.
Reports state that Hurricane Michael can make landfall in the Sunshine State as a Category 3 storm.
Governor Scott also warned the residents, saying that the hurricane could have winds up to 111mph when it makes landfall in Florida on early Wednesday, according to reports. Michael, as of Monday 11 am, was located nearly 100 miles off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico with winds exceeding 74 mph, which qualified it as a Category 1 hurricane.
Governor Scott said that he had activated 500 members of the Florida National Guard (FNG) ahead of the storm and had received a briefing on Hurricane Michael at the State Emergency Operations Center.
"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous," the governor said, adding: "If this storm hit Panama City, Tampa could still have storm surge. Every family must be prepared," Scott said referring to the areas not in direct path of the storm.
The storm, as per AccWeather, is set to deliver around 4-8 inches of rain from the Florida Panhandle into parts of the Carolinas later this week. The rains will also bring flood to certain areas which are still struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence which struck the state last month.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a statement on Monday, stating that it was mobilizing its resources from the federal government to assist in preparation of the impending storm.
Highest wind gusts expected along coast ... right now from Destin to Apalachicola and Wakulla+Taylor Counties. Hurricane Michael at Cat 3+ near landfall would bring disastrous winds inland to Tallahassee -- largest population metro under threat. pic.twitter.com/OBtNBsMTVs— Ryan Maue | weathermodels.com (@RyanMaue) October 8, 2018
The storm, which was initially being considered a tropical depression, was upgraded to a named tropical storm by the US National Hurricane Center on Sunday. Reports state that the storm could gain strength by Monday night on Tuesday as its center moves over the Yucatan Channel, crosses the Gulf of Mexico and nears the Florida Panhandle coast sometime Wednesday.
The US National Hurricane Center also issued a warning saying that the storm could produce a foot of rain in western Cuba, which could trigger flash floods and mudslides in mountainous regions. A tropical storm warning is already in effect for the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth as well as the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche.