Hurricane Michael is strengthening as it makes its way to the Florida Panhandle. It is estimated to bring devastation on a large area of the state when it arrives. The areas most affected are those near to the South and Mid Atlantic ocean. This also include regions that have already been affected by Hurricane Florence last month.
The National Hurricane Center predicts that Michael will arrive as a category 3 hurricane with a sustained winds of 111 miles/hour on Wednesday. If the forecast is accurate, Michael will be the strongest hurricane to hit USA this year and it will be the strongest hurricane to hit Florida in 13 years.
Gov. Rick Scott of Florida told the press that Michael is going to be a life threatening storm but it could change direction and hit other states instead. Scott warned that areas affected by the storm will get flooded with up to 1 foot of rain. A state of emergency has been declared on 35 counties. President Trump is also being requested to declare a pre-landfall emergency for Florida. Trump said that the Federal Emergency Management team will be ready to offer help when the hurricane takes place.
Michael will bring powerful storm surge that flood miles inland with water from the sea. The wave could rise as high as 8 – 12 feet which is high enough to cover the roof of the building. It is forecast to dump at least 4 – 8 inches of rain in Panhandle and Big Bend. In some remote areas, it could stall up to 12 inches of rain. According to the director of the National Hurricane Center, Ken Graham, the storm surge will cause the soil to become even more wet which leads to trees and power lines falling down.
Michael will also bring powerful wind that will destroy everything in its path on the coast and in inland like Tallahassee. Evacuations have been ordered for communities living in areas that will be affected by the storm force winds. These areas include Wakulla, Citrus, and Gulf. Voluntary evacuations have also been issued in Santa Rosa and Leon counties.
Hurricane Michael is not like Hurricane Florence which takes its time to reach Carolinas and then stall heavy rain for a few days in the Carolinas. Hurricane Michael is approaching faster and giving lesser time for the people to prepapre. It was just a tropical storm when Mr. Scott spoke but it soon upgraded to a Hurricane Category 1 in 3 hours. Mr. Scott said there are 1,250 National Guard troops and another 4,000 more troops standing by for help if anyone get stranded in the storm flood. Many flood rescue equipment like inflatable boats, all terrain vehicles and 4WD have already been prepared.