Hurricane Michael heads toward Florida Panhandle, 13 deaths in its wake

By 11 a.m. Monday, Michael's top sustained winds were around 120 kph.

The system is moving to the north at 7 miles per hour.

Though Michael's impact on Northeast Florida could be hard to predict, emergency operation centers in the area are preparing for the storm.

This would make the storm a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds of between 111 and 129 miles per hour. A hurricane watch is in effect from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to the Suwanee River, and tropical storm watches have been issued from the Suwanee River to Anna Maria Island and from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Florida's governor mobilized National Guard troops and ordered Gulf Coast residents to head inland or evacuate as Hurricane Michael churned toward shore on Monday, with the storm forecast to strengthen rapidly before making landfall on Wednesday. There is also a threat of tornadoes, especially if the storm moves to the west of Myrtle Beach. The center warned heavy rain, risky winds and life-threatening storm surges were possible across Western Cuba on Monday as winds picked up speed on the Gulf Coast. NNE OR 20 DEGREES AT 3 miles per hour...6 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...999 MB...29.50 INCHES WATCHES AND WARNINGS ------- CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY: None SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT: A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for... STATIONARY MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1004 MB...29.65 INCHES WATCHES AND WARNINGS ------- SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT: A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency order Monday after concerns of severe weather and possible damages were raised. All schools in Panama City and surrounding Bay County will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Officials also alerted residents living on the coast of the possibility of flooding caused by the storm.

Hurricane Michael is now a Category 1 storm system and is tracking toward the northwestern coast of Florida, according to an 11 a.m. update from the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) on October 8.

The NHC has forecast that Michael is slated to strengthen and will bring heavy rains, damaging winds, and storm surge.

On Sunday, a tropical storm formed in the northern Caribbean Sea.

After landfall, Michael is expected to weaken as it tracks quickly northeast, and the forecast track brings the center across southeast Georgia and southeast SC in the Wednesday night and Thursday time period.

"We have never seen a storm like this in this part of our state", he said after the briefing. This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in areas of mountainous terrain.

"We will look in the morning where the storm is tracking, the intensity of the storm", said Capt. Chris Volz, head of the Baker County Emergency Operations Center.

  • Eleanor Harrison