TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The latest on Tropical Storm Michael (all times local for the East Coast):
12:20 a.m. Thursday
The National Hurricane Center says Michael has weakened to a tropical storm over south-central Georgia.
11 p.m. Wednesday
Forecasters say Michael is weakening but still a hurricane with 75-mph (120-kph) winds as it crosses central Georgia.
The National Hurricane Center said Michael was located at 11 p.m. EDT Wednesday about 45 miles (70 kilometers) south-southwest of Macon, Georgia. The low-level Category 1 hurricane was picking up speed and moving to the northeast at 20 mph (32 kph).
The Miami-based hurricane center says Michael will move across Georgia through the night and early Thursday morning. It is expected to then cross the Carolinas and move off the Mid-Atlantic coast by early Friday.
Forecasters say Michael is expected to become a tropical storm sometime Thursday morning.
Michael made landfall Wednesday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, with at least one death reported there.
8:45 p.m. Wednesday
Hurricane Michael has begun weakening as it charges across southwestern Georgia with damaging winds and rains. It has dropped from a once formidable Category 4 to a bottom-tier Category 1 storm.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the eye of Michael was about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Albany, Georgia, at 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday. It had top sustained winds of 90 mph (145 kph) and was moving to the northeast at 17 mph (27 kph).
Forecasters say storm flooding is still occurring along the Florida Gulf Coast after Michael crashed ashore Wednesday afternoon as a fierce storm with 155 mph winds. The storm is expected to head to the northeast as it crosses south and central Georgia into the Carolinas in coming hours.
8:30 p.m. Wednesday
The National Weather Service issued multiple tornado warnings in Georgia as Hurricane Michael pushed through the state, and local media report three of them may have touched down.
News media in Macon reported that by early evening Wednesday, tornadoes had touched down near Roberta, Perry and Fort Valley in Georgia’s midstate region.
Crawford County officials said a possible tornado damaged five homes near Roberta. The county’s emergency management director told news media it touched down on Highway 128 and knocked down power lines and trees. No injuries were reported.
Weather officials had warned that the massive storm, which came ashore Wednesday afternoon in Florida’s Panhandle region, could spawn tornadoes as it moves northeast.
7:25 p.m. Wednesday
Hurricane Michael has left extensive damage in Panama City, with broken and uprooted trees and power lines down nearly everywhere. Roofs were peeled off and homes split open by fallen trees. Twisted street signs lay on the ground. Residents emerged early Wednesday evening to assess damage when rains stopped, though skies were still overcast and windy.
A pine tree punched a hole in the roof of the apartment where 29-year-old Vance Beu was staying with his mother. The roar of the storm sounded like a jet engine as the wind accelerated, and their ears popped as pressure dropped.
Beu said, “It was terrifying, honestly. There was a lot of noise. We thought the windows were going to break at any time. We had the inside windows kind of barricaded in with mattresses. We did whatever we could to kind of hunker down.”
7 p.m. Wednesday
Authorities say a Florida Panhandle man was killed by a falling tree as Hurricane Michael tore through the state.
Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Anglie Hightower says they received a call around 6 p.m. Wednesday, saying a tree had crashed through the roof of the man’s Greensboro home and trapped him. Emergency crews were heading to the home, but downed power lines and blocked roads were making the trip difficult.
Officials hadn’t immediately confirmed the man’s name.
6:55 p.m. Wednesday
Florida Gov. Rick Scott says search and rescue teams are heading into the state’s hardest-hit areas to help survivors of Hurricane Michael.
Scott held a news conference Wednesday evening and urged people to stay off roads and leave them open to first responders as they begin the work of search and rescue — and recovery.
He says flash flooding and tornadoes are still possible, and says officials have heard reports of at least two tornadoes in Florida.
Scott said at least 192,000 homes and businesses are without power, but vowed “a massive wave of response” with thousands of utility personnel fanning out to restore power, along with medical teams, law enforcement personnel and the search and rescue squads.
6:55 p.m. Wednesday
More than 32,000 homes and businesses in Georgia were without power Wednesday evening as parts of the state were beginning to feel the impact from Hurricane Michael.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Georgia Power said around 4:30 p.m. that 17,580 customers had lost power. Georgia EMC said that about 15,376 of its customers were also without power.
For Georgia EMC, most of its affected customers were in five counties in southwest Georgia, where more than 13,500 customers were without power. In metro Atlanta, just 17 customers were without power.
In an email, an EMC spokesperson said winds had caused trees to fall onto power lines, prompting the outages.
As of Wednesday evening, Hurricane Michael was a Category 3 storm. It made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm around 1:40 p.m.
6:20 p.m. Wednesday
The National Hurricane Center says Michael’s eye has crossed from the Florida Panhandle into southwestern Georgia as a dangerous Category 3 storm, the strongest to hit that part of the state in recorded history.
Maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph) were recorded in Seminole County, Georgia, Wednesday evening. The storm made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, as a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane earlier Wednesday afternoon.
According to a 6 p.m. advisory, the storm was located 20 miles (32 kilometers) west-northwest of Bainbridge, Georgia, and 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Albany, Georgia. It was moving north-northeast at 13 mph (21 kph).
Dangerous storm surge continues along the coast of the Florida Panhandle.
5:10 p.m. Wednesday
Tallahassee mayor and Democratic nominee for Florida governor Andrew Gillum says his city is prepared and ready to help its neighbors in the region.
Gillum told CNN during a Wednesday interview that, “We’re going to be here for each other.”
Gillum says power crews are ready to begin assessing damage as soon as the storm completely passes. He warned residents to stay inside until they’ve received an all-clear from public safety officials.
Tallahassee is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northeast of Mexico Beach, which is near where Hurricane Michael made landfall Wednesday afternoon
4:20 p.m. Wednesday
A Red Cross official says it’s possible that as many as 320,000 people on Florida’s Gulf Coast did not evacuate and are likely riding out the storm.
Evacuation orders were sent by state and local officials to about 325,000 people. Emergency managers say they don’t know how many left the area, but there were about 6,000 people in 80 shelters in five states, including nearly 1,200 who are still in shelters following Hurricane Florence.
Michael went from a tropical storm to a projected Category 3 hurricane in around six hours and could have caught thousands off guard.
Brad Kieserman is the Vice President of Operations and Logistics for the American Red Cross. He says the storm “intensified extremely quickly and didn’t give anyone enough time to do much.”
3:30 p.m. Wednesday
The director of the National Hurricane Center says Michael is going to keep its strength even as it moves into Alabama and Georgia.
By 3 p.m. EDT, Michael still had top sustained winds of 150 mph (240 kph) as its core moved over Florida’s Panhandle.
Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, earlier Wednesday afternoon with 155 mph (250 kph) winds.
Hurricane center director Ken Graham says that when a storm comes ashore with winds that strong, “it’s going to stay a hurricane for a while.”
Michael’s large size means its winds will continue pushing storm surge inland as well. The hurricane center said a National Ocean Service water level station in Apalachicola has reported storm surge of nearly 8 feet (2.5 meters) above ground.
3 p.m. Wednesday
Authorities say lifeguards had to save three children who were playing in the ocean at a South Carolina beach as Hurricane Michael approached.
Beaufort County Emergency Management Division Commander Neil Baxley said a 15-year-old and two 9-year-olds were on boogie boards off Hilton Head Island around 12:15 p.m. Wednesday when the waves quickly started to pull them from shore.
Baxley says rescuers were able to make it to the children and bring them to safety.
Baxley said at a news conference there is no reason to be in the ocean Wednesday.
Beaufort County is under a tropical storm warning as Michael makes landfall about 325 miles (520 kilometers) southwest in the Florida Panhandle.
1:45 p.m. Wednesday
The National Hurricane Center says Michael is making landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, as a catastrophic Category 4 Hurricane, pushing a deadly storm surge and whipping the coast with 155 mph (250 kph) winds.
Forecasters mark landfall as the place and time when the center of the eye strikes land. Minutes earlier, Michael’s eyewall came ashore between Panama City and St. Vincent Island, and the hurricane center warned everyone inside the relative calm of the eye not to venture outside.
Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center.
Those winds were tearing some buildings apart in Panama City Beach. One beachfront structure under construction could be seen collapsing, and metal roofing material flew sideways across parking lots amid sheets of rain.
12:50 p.m. Wednesday
U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said Michael is “a hurricane of the worst kind.”
He said there are about 3,000 FEMA employees in the field, plus aircraft and search and rescue teams staged to move into Florida and Georgia as well.
“The citizens in Georgia need to wake up and pay attention,” Long said. He says this hurricane will likely be the worst storm that anyone in southwest and central Georgia will have seen in decades.
Long applauded local officials who urged evacuations, and said “people are going to die as a result of not heeding the warnings.”
12:30 p.m. Wednesday
President Donald Trump is being briefed on Hurricane Michael as it closes in on the Florida Panhandle with potentially catastrophic 150 mph winds.
Trump is warning of the power of the storm as he meets with his Homeland Security Secretary and the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long.
Long is describing the storm as a “Gulf Coast hurricane of the worst kind,” which he says will be similar in strength to “an EF3 tornado making landfall.”
Trump says he spoke with Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday and says the federal government is coordinating with all of the states that could be impacted.
The Category 4 storm could be most powerful storm on record ever to hit the region. More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast have been warned to evacuate.
10:50 a.m. Wednesday
North Carolina’s governor has declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Michael.
The storm’s path is forecast to run through the state where many are still reeling after last month’s Hurricane Florence.
Gov. Roy Cooper says he’s called up 150 National Guard troops and lifted restrictions on trucks that could deliver supplies to the state.
Officials have said that Michael isn’t expected to cause the same kind of river flooding as Florence.
But Cooper said that Michael could bring up to 7 inches of rain to parts of the state, which could cause flash-flooding. He urged people in flood-prone areas to watch forecasts and heed any evacuation orders.
Cooper said tropical storm-force winds will likely arrive overnight into Thursday, and that the wind and rain could further damage tarped houses where people are working to rebuild.
10:30 a.m. Wednesday
The storm surge from Hurricane Michael has come ashore and is growing deeper.
According to a National Hurricane Center update, a National Ocean Service water level station at Apalachicola reported over 4 feet of inundation above ground level by mid-morning Wednesday.
Forecasters have said the hurricane could push up to 14 feet of ocean water ashore in Apalachicola, surging over normal tides.
Waves are already gnawing away at the base of sand dunes at Panama City Beach.
Officials are upset that holdouts will soon be surrounded by water.
About 50 people resisted evacuating from St. George Island, and two people on Dog Island, which is only accessible by boat, also ignored evacuation orders.
Franklin County emergency management coordinator Tress Dameron told The News Herald in Panama City that people who stayed better be wearing their life jackets.
9:50 a.m. Wednesday
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has ordered 1,500 National Guard troops on standby, ready for deployment as needed as Hurricane Michael blows in.
Hurricanes weaken after landfall, but Michael is a catastrophic Category 4 storm and is expected to remain a hurricane as it ploughs over Georgia.
Transportation officials are already anticipating gale-force winds by closing the main bridge over the Savannah River between Savannah and South Carolina.
The Georgia Department of Transportation said the Talmadge Memorial Bridge on U.S. 17 will close at 9 p.m. Wednesday, because it will be too difficult for motorists to control their vehicles in such conditions.
South Alabama is another inland area that won’t be spared. Alabama’s Geneva County has announced a curfew beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday, and the local emergency management agency has urged people to voluntarily evacuate from mobile homes and other places that could be unstable in the storm’s high winds.
9:30 a.m. Wednesday
FEMA Director Brock Long says his agency has nearly 3,000 people in the field ready to assist with Hurricane Michael.
He says teams and aircraft are ready to support any search and rescue missions in Florida or elsewhere, and that staging areas with commodities needed after storms have been set up in Atlanta and at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
He also says the Federal Emergency Management Agency is working “hand-in-hand” with Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
He praised Florida’s use on Tuesday evening of the wireless emergency alert system to let residents know that the storm was getting stronger.
As for the many people who ignored orders to evacuate, Long said Wednesday that people “who stick around and experience storm surge unfortunately don’t usually live to tell about it.”
9:25 a.m. Wednesday
National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham is warning that a Category 4 hurricane will bring catastrophic damage to Florida’s Panhandle.
Graham says Michael’s top winds of 145 mph are powerful enough to peel off roofs and cause the “complete destruction of houses.”
Stretches of the coast could see storm surge of at least 6 feet, with waters rising in some places up to 14 feet above the ground. Graham wants people to think about how tall they are, and just how high that water can be.
Michael is powerful enough to remain a hurricane well inland as it travels over Georgia on Thursday.
Graham says falling trees will pull down utility lines, leaving some areas without power for weeks, and hazardous conditions will persist long after the storm blows through.
He says the aftermath of a hurricane is “not the time to start learning to use that chain saw.”
9:15 a.m. Wednesday
Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the impact of Hurricane Michael will be “horrible,” the worst storm to hit the Panhandle in a century.
Scott said Wednesday he’s “scared to death” that people in places such as St. George Island along the state’s coast had ignored evacuation orders.
He said he hopes that no one kept children with them as they chose to ride it out, but the time to evacuate from coastal areas has “come and gone.”
The governor said state authorities are now focusing on the recovery effort once the fast-moving storm blows through.
He has activated up 3,500 members of the Florida National Guard and says thousands of utility workers are on stand-by.
9:05 a.m. Wednesday
Huge waves are pounding the shore at Panama City Beach, where officials have announced they are now unable to respond to any calls for service.
Just inland in Panama City, the fire department says it will respond to only life-threatening emergencies and only within the city limits.
The biggest waves are shooting frothy green water between homes and up to the base of wooden stairs over the dunes and the skies appear menacing as tropical-storm-force winds lash the coast. Landfall is expected about midday Wednesday.
8:25 a.m. Wednesday
Michael is now a Category 4 hurricane and so powerful that it is expected to remain a hurricane as it moves over central Georgia early Thursday. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has issued a state of emergency for 92 of the state’s 159 counties.
A hurricane warning is effect in southwestern Georgia. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the entire Georgia coast, as well as much of the inland areas.
Between 4 inches and 8 inches of rain are expected in southwest and central Georgia. From 3 inches to 6 inches of rain is expected in other parts of the state.
The National Weather Service said winds are expected to range from 25 mph to 45 mph in central Georgia, with gusts as high as 70 mph.
8 a.m. Wednesday
Hurricane Michael is strengthening as it races over the Gulf of Mexico approaching a landfall along Florida’s Panhandle.
Forecasters say deadly storm surge, catastrophic wind damage and heavy rainfall are imminent.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the Category 4 storm has maximum sustained winds of 145 mph and is moving at 13 mph.
At 8 a.m., Michael was centered about 90 miles southwest of Panama City, with tropical storm force winds already lashing the coast.
The hurricane center says Michael will be the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle.
7:45 a.m. Wednesday
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is warning people in the path of massive Hurricane Michael that it’s too late to evacuate.
In a tweet on Wednesday morning, Scott said “If you chose to state in an evacuation zone, you must SEEK REFUGE IMMEDIATELY.”
Hurricane Michael grew into a Category 4 storm overnight and officials at the National Hurricane Center in Miami say a storm that strong has never hit the Florida Panhandle.
Meanwhile, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office warned residents that a “shelter-in-place” order has been issued, and urged everyone to stay off the roads.
Sheriff’s officials say deputies will continue to respond to calls for now, but that will change as the storm approaches the coastline.
7:15 a.m. Wednesday
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Hurricane Michael would be the first Category 4 storm to hit Florida’s Panhandle.
In a Facebook post, NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen said “we are in new territory with now Hurricane Michael and its 130 mph sustained winds.”
Feltgen says Bay County is the likely “ground zero” for Hurricane Michael on Wednesday afternoon.
The outer bands of the massive storm are beginning to reach the Gulf Coast. At 7 a.m. the center of the storm was about 105 miles south-southwest of Panama City.
A NOAA buoy located some 90 miles south-southwest of Panama City recorded sustained winds of 76 mph early Wednesday.
Forecasters also said a wind gust of 54 mph was reported at Apalachicola Regional Airport.
5:30 a.m. Wednesday
Some of the worst storm surge from Category 4 Hurricane Michael is expected to hit Florida’s Tyndall Air Force Base, which has ordered all non-essential personnel to evacuate.
The National Hurricane Center’s latest forecast shows as much as 13 feet of water on top of the usual waves and tides could inundate the base, which is home to more than 600 families and on an island about 12 miles east of Panama City.
All base residents were ordered to leave when Tyndall moved to “HURCON 1” status as the storm closes in.
The base provided transportation but limited families to one large piece of luggage per family and one carry-on piece per person.
Tyndall is home to the 325th Fighter Wing.
5 a.m. Wednesday
Hurricane Michael is an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm and still growing stronger as it closes in on the northwest Florida coast.
Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 140 mph with higher gusts.
At 5 a.m., the center of the hurricane was bearing down on a stretch of the Florida Panhandle, still about 140 miles from Panama City and 130 miles from Apalachicola, but moving relatively fast at 13 mph.
Tropical-storm force winds extending 185 miles from the center were already lashing the coast.
Forecasters are warning of life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic wind damage and heavy rainfall as the hurricane moves onshore.
2:10 a.m. Wednesday
The National Hurricane Center says Michael has become an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm.
At 2 a.m. Wednesday, the eye of Michael was about 180 miles south-southwest of Panama City, Florida. It also was about 170 miles southwest of Apalachicola, Florida.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles.
Michael was expected to become one of the Panhandle’s worst hurricanes in memory with a life-threatening storm surge of up to 13 feet.
Florida officials said roughly 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast had been urged or ordered to evacuate. Evacuations spanned 22 counties from the Florida Panhandle into north central Florida.
12:30 a.m. Wednesday
Hurricane Michael is roaring down on the Florida Panhandle, gaining strength so quickly that forecasters expect it to become a Category 4 monster once it slams into the white-sand beaches, fishing villages and coastal communities.
The brute storm that sprang from a weekend tropical depression gained in fury and size just hours ahead of Wednesday’s projected midday landfall, packed 125 mph winds as a dangerous Category 3 storm.
Forecasters say it’s expected to keep strengthening in the final hours before it crashes ashore as potentially one of the worst hurricanes in the region’s history.
Florida officials said roughly 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast had been urged or ordered to evacuate. Evacuations spanned 22 counties from the Florida Panhandle into north central Florida.
7:15 p.m. Tuesday
Authorities in Florida’s Citrus County say they’ve ordered a mandatory evacuation affecdting more than 17,000 people along the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Michael approaches.
Also ordered to leave the county Tuesday: anyone staying in an RV, mobile home or manufactured home throughout the county.
Based on the responses of officials in even Florida counties, approximately 279,200 people have been affected by mandatory or voluntary evacuations as they seek to get away from Michael’s projected path.
Michael strengthened Tuesday into a potentially devastating major hurricane as it continued its crossing of the eastern Gulf of Mexico. It’s headed toward an expected Wednesday landfall on the Florida Panhandle.
6:30 p.m. Tuesday
Some boaters seeking to get away from Hurricane Michael are sailing west to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.
The Sun Herald of Biloxi, Mississippi, reports boat owners are headed for marinas and sheltered bays and rivers far from open Gulf waters. Some boats are tying up at a city marina in Biloxi even though strong easterly winds have pushed up water along the coast.
The National Weather Service has a tropical storm watch in place for the Mississippi coast.
Mike Thierry of Dauphin Island, Alabama, says he, his son and their families made a three-hour trip in two charter boats to Biloxi on Monday. Says Thierry: “You can’t wait until the last minute to leave.”
Meanwhile, The Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association says hotel reservations are increasing from those fleeing the storm’s projected path. The potentially devastating major hurricane is expected to continue crossing the Gulf overnight toward a Wednesday landfall on the Florida Panhandle.
6:10 p.m. Tuesday
The state of Mississippi has deployed two search-and-rescue teams to Florida, to assist with potential emergency response efforts, ahead of Hurricane Michael.
The deployment was announced Tuesday following a request from
Mississippi Office of Homeland Security Director Jay Ledbetter says Florida has a long history of helping Mississippi and they’re glad to return the favor.
Mississippi is sending 42 personnel to serve as two swift water rescue teams. The teams are scheduled to remain in Florida for two weeks to conduct search and rescue operations if necessary.
The expenses for all the deployments will be reimbursed to the State of Florida.
5 p.m. Tuesday
Forecasters say Michael has strengthened into a major hurricane with winds of 120 mph (190 kph).
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says in a Tuesday evening advisory that Michael has become a Category 3 hurricane and is moving north across the Gulf of Mexico at 12 mph (19 kph). The hurricane is about 295 miles (475 kilometers) south of Panama City Beach, Florida.
Michael is expected to continue across the Gulf through the night and move inland over the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday. It is forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall and weaken as it moves across the southeastern U.S.
The hurricane center says some areas could see as much as 13 feet (4 meters) of storm surge and 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain.
2:05 p.m. Tuesday
A search and rescue team from Tennessee has been deployed to Florida ahead of the expected arrival of Hurricane Michael.
The Memphis Fire Department says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked Tennessee Task Force Type 3 to report to Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle.
The department says a team of 80 firefighters, doctors, engineers and dog handlers departed Tuesday.
The task force will be responsible for wide-area and swift water search and rescue efforts.
At least 120,000 people along the Florida Panhandle were ordered to clear out Tuesday as Hurricane Michael rapidly picked up steam in the Gulf of Mexico and closed in with winds of 110 mph (175 kph) and a potential storm surge of 12 feet (3.7 meters).
2 p.m. Tuesday
Forecasters expect Hurricane Michael to grow stronger still as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico on its way to Florida’s Panhandle.
At 2 p.m. Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said Michael had top sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph). That’s just below the threshold for a “major” hurricane. Michael was moving north at 12 mph (19 kph) and is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and heavy rain to the northeastern Gulf Coast.
Officials in Bay County say they have not seen a rush of evacuees clogging roads inland — and that worries them with just hours left before Michael’s landfall in the Panhandle.
Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said he’s “not seeing the level of traffic” he would expect when three-quarters of the county’s residents are under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders.
The hurricane is expected to make landfall Wednesday in Florida before crossing Georgia and the Carolinas as a weaker storm.
12:40 p.m. Tuesday
The U.S. Geological Service says Hurricane Michael will likely cause beach erosion along three-quarters of the Florida’s Panhandle, wiping away sand right up to the dunes.
The agency says erosion could be even worse in about a fourth of the Panhandle’s white-sand beaches, particularly areas east of the eye, as a storm surge on top of high surf could see waves as high as 16 to 20 feet washing over the top of the protective dune line.
The agency’s research oceanographer Kara Doran says wave heights in the open Gulf of Mexico are expected to reach as high as 40 feet (12 meters). As the storm approaches the coastline, she says this water will flow over a shallow sea bed and “overwhelm the dunes, which are relatively low and narrow.”
In Gulf County beach town Cape San Blas, contractors are pulling out equipment for a long-planned beach renourishment project. Gulf County’s coordinator of the beach project, Warren Yeager, tells the Pensacola News Journal that roadways and sewer lines could wash away.
12:20 p.m. Tuesday
Most gas stations in downtown Tallahassee are out of gas as Hurricane Michael approaches. That includes the Quick ‘N’ Save where owner Harin Desai was boarding up his windows and picking up loose tree branches around the shop. He said Tuesday that he doesn’t expect he’ll get resupplied soon, because stations nearer to interstate highways will get priority.
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.
That includes 64-year-old Shannon Sullivan, who returned for ice and beer after gassing up and buying water the day before.
Shannon remembers how previous hurricanes knocked out power in Florida’s capital city, so he knows what’s possible with Michael.
He says he expects a lot of trees down and other problems if the hurricane stays on track to hit Tallahassee.
11:40 a.m Tuesday
North Carolina’s governor says he’s afraid Hurricane Michael could slow the recovery for homeowners dealing with wind or flooding from Hurricane Florence.
Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday that Michael isn’t expected to hit his state as hard as Florence did last month, but people shouldn’t let their guard down, even if they’re suffering from cleanup fatigue. He said many houses that suffered roof damage in Florence are still covered in tarps and could be vulnerable to strong wind and rain.
Michael is expected to race across the Carolinas late Wednesday and early Thursday, dumping 2 to 5 inches or more of rainfall. Since the ground remains saturated in places, that could mean flash flooding, and trees in wet ground can topple more easily in high winds.
He said that forecasters aren’t expecting the same kind of major river flooding caused by Florence, and conditions should improve on Friday.
11 a.m. Tuesday
Data from hurricane hunter aircraft flying through Hurricane Michael show the storm is still strengthening over the Gulf of Mexico.
At 11 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center said Michael had top sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph). That’s just below the threshold for a “major” hurricane, and forecasters say they still expect Michael to get stronger.
Michael was moving north at 12 mph (19 kph). The hurricane is expected to make landfall in Florida’s Panhandle or Big Bend on Wednesday before crossing Georgia and the Carolinas as a weaker storm.
The storm’s effects will be felt far from the eye of the hurricane. 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.AlertMe