Friday, 19 October, 2018

Store owner stays put for Hurricane Michael

Ivey issues state of emergency for Alabama Weather forecast: PM thunderstorms expected
Grady Vargas | 10 October, 2018, 04:30

If the National Hurricane Center wind forecast for Michael verifies, landfalling winds of 125mph would tie the hurricane with 1975's Eloise and an 1882 Pensacola hurricane for the most intense storms to strike the Panhandle on record.

Hurricane Michael is closing in on the Florida Panhandle, forecast to make landfall as a "monstrous" Category 3 storm with a risky storm surge of up to 12 feet, officials said.

Experts predict that Hurricane Michael could pose a similar threat, with storm surge and inland flooding from intense rainfall ultimately responsible for most of the damage and death. However, forecasters always note it is not possible to say where a hurricane will land until it is closer to the coast.

A year ago saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Hurricane Harvey - causing a record-equalling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area. It developed into a hurricane on Monday, and by Tuesday, more than 180,000 people were under mandatory evacuation orders. "That means the water will come miles in shore and could easily be over the roofs of houses", Scott said. "We want to get them out of the way".

Michael's core, with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, was about 335 miles south of Panama City, Florida, as of 2 p.m. ET Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said. Forecasters said Michael's storm winds stretched 370 miles (595 kilometers) across, with hurricane-strength winds extending up to 35 miles (55 kilometers) from the center.

President Trump said Tuesday that he had spoken with honchos at FEMA, as well as Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and is confident that "We're very well-prepared". Bill Nelson, said a "wall of water" could cause destruction along the Panhandle. "Do not think you can survive it", Scott said.

One of them was Betty Early, 75, a retiree who joined about 300 fellow evacuees huddled on makeshift bedrolls of blankets and collapsed cardboard boxes inside an elementary school converted into an American Red Cross shelter in Panama City, near the storm's expected landfall.

"I just can't bring myself to spend that much money", she said. "We got everything tied down". "We're just now running out of regular (gasoline)", Danny Hess, an employee at a gas station in Panama City, told local WJHG television. "This might be really bad and serious".

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As a result and given the expected landfall location, RMS notes that, "The Big Bend region of Florida is typically at risk to high amounts of storm surge from hurricanes due to its shallowly sloped coastline, which allows for water to build up as the storm moves ashore".

Desai is also out of water and down to about two dozen bags of ice, and yet there's still people coming in for last-minute supplies.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Florida's Democratic nominee for governor, filled sandbags with residents and urged the state capital's residents to finish emergency preparations quickly. It strengthened to a Category 3 storm late Tuesday afternoon.

Annette Strickland, 75, arrived at a Tallahassee high school.

In Carrabelle, Florida, resident Cole Lauzau said she is planning to try riding out the storm at home with her roommate and their dog. "That's just me. I don't want to be ugly". The Florida Panhandle, southeast Alabama, and southern Georgia will see 4 to 8 inches of rain, with isolated areas facing up to 12 inches, the National Hurricane Center said.

"I know people are worn out from Florence, but don't let this storm catch you with your guard down", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said, adding, "A number of homes have rooftop tarps that could be damaged or blown away with this wind". Using the most recent storm surge prediction for Michael-released by NOAA at 11 am Eastern today-and property level data provided by Zillow, our preliminary analysis indicates that almost 50,000 coastal properties are at risk of storm surge inundation, though many more could be affected by flash flooding and heavy rain throughout the southeast.

As the storm closed in on the USA, it caused havoc in the Caribbean. In Cuba, it dumped more than 10 inches of rain in places, flooding fields, damaging roads, knocking out power, and destroying some homes.

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