Hurricane Michael continues to strengthen; expected to become major hurricane

Tropical Storm Michael Could Turn Into 'Devastating' Hurricane Before It Hits Florida

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said a "life-threatening storm surge" was expected along much of the coast of the Florida Panhandle.

Another TT national, Ray Mohammed, said Florida has been through worse storms and was confident the state would ride out Michael. Comparable storms include Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which had a pressure of 922 mb, and Katrina in 2005, whose pressure was 920 mb.

By declaring a state of emergency, Ivey is directing the activation of the Alabama Emergency Operations Plan, which directs the appropriate state agencies to exercise their statutory authority to assist the communities and entities affected by the storm.

Evacuations have been ordered in parts of 10 counties.

The hurricane center, citing Michael's risky trifecta of storm surge, flash flooding and winds, described the seventh hurricane of the Atlantic season as "life-threatening".

"Life-threatening storm surge is expected along more than 325 miles of coastline, and the area of tropical storm force winds now extend more than 300 miles across". We'll find out later this week how severe this storm shall be, but for now, it's time to batten down those hatches.

NBC2 First Alert Meteorologist Allyson Rae will be reporting live from Panama City, Florida Wednesday morning starting at 4:30 a.m. A broad swath of Florida's Big Bend is now projected to see a storm surge of anywhere from eight to twelve feet. "This storm will be life threatening and extremely unsafe". Storm surge could reach a monstrous 12 feet in some areas - enough to "easily go over the roofs of some houses", he said.

The National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River.

The Florida State men's and women's swimming & diving teams will not travel to Christiansburg, Virginia due to the threat of Hurricane Michael.

Reuters has reported that evacuation orders and advisories affect 500,000 people in Florida alone. "Take care of them", Scott said.

The storm has already killed 13 people in Central America as it battered Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba with rain and winds of up to 85 miles per hour.

Currently, Central Florida is only expected to experience some heavy rain Wednesday and Thursday. Residents are being urged to evacuate inland.

CNN reports that such language is warranted, for Michael is now "slashing Cuba" and is expected to reach Category 3 status (with sustained winds from 111-129 mph) by Wednesday when it reaches the us mainland.

Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 125 miles per hour (205 km/h) with higher gusts.

"There's nothing between us and this storm but warm water and I think that's what terrifies us about the potential impacts". That could lead to flash floods, the NHC warned.

Rick Scott asked President Donald J. Trump for a major disaster declaration after the hurricane made landfall.

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