Hurricane Michael Live Updates: Storm Upgraded to Category 3



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Hurricane Michael Live Updates: Storm Upgraded to Category 3

Hurricane Michael Live Updates: Storm Upgraded to Category 3


Preparing for Hurricane Michael in Panama City Beach, Fla., on Tuesday.CreditCreditEric Thayer for The New York TimesBy The New York Times

Hurricane Michael strengthened into a Category 3 storm on Tuesday, packing 120 mile-per-hour winds and on a path to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle as the most powerful hurricane to strike the mainland United States so far this year.

Forecasters expect its lashing winds to become more powerful along the coastline on Tuesday, with the worst still to come as the storm draws closer and makes landfall on Wednesday.

Governors in at least three states have declared emergencies, and the local authorities are urging people to evacuate or to fortify their homes ahead of the storm.

Here are the latest developments:

• As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said the center of the storm was about 295 miles south of Panama City, Fla., and moving north at 12 m.p.h. Click on the map below to see the storm’s projected path.

• A hurricane warning was in effect from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida. A hurricane watch was in effect from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

• Hurricane Michael could make landfall as a Category 3 storm on Wednesday anywhere from Destin, Fla., to Apalachee Bay, the National Hurricane Center said. It was projected then to veer northeast — through Georgia and the Carolinas — before heading into the Atlantic on Thursday night.

• The Florida governor’s office said that evacuation orders were in place for parts of at least 18 counties, and that more than 30 shelters had been opened. Some 2,500 members of the National Guard had been activated, and specialized search-and-rescue teams were being deployed.

• Gas, generators and other emergency supplies were reported sold out in many places, The Tallahassee Democrat reported.

Florida’s governor warns of a ‘monstrous storm’


Governor Rick Scott of Florida warned residents about the dangers of the approaching hurricane, with 110-mile-an-hour winds and the potential to become a Category 3 storm.Published OnOct. 9, 2018Gov. Rick Scott of Florida pleaded with residents on Tuesday to heed evacuation orders and to prepare for a storm that he warned “could bring total devastation to parts of our state.”

“Hurricane Michael is a monstrous storm, and the forecast keeps getting more dangerous,” Mr. Scott said during an appearance at the state’s emergency operations center in Tallahassee, the Florida capital.

By Tuesday morning, a handful of counties had issued evacuation orders that were often targeted at visitors or people who live in mobile homes or low-lying areas. “If we need to have evacuations, local communities need to issue the orders now,” Mr. Scott said. “We cannot afford to wait.”

Mr. Scott, a Republican who is on the ballot next month for a United States Senate seat, said he believed people were taking the storm “seriously.” But he also seemed to suggest that some local officials, familiar with the furies of triple-digit wind speeds and torrential rains, were perhaps not sufficiently fearful of Hurricane Michael’s perils.

“I think a lot of people have been through 110-mile-an-hour winds, they’ve been through 12 inches of rain,” he said. “I think what’s different about this storm that really concerns me is the storm surge.”

Weather forecasters, who have said storm surge could reach 12 feet in some areas, have issued a storm surge warning for the stretch between the border of Okaloosa and Walton Counties to the Anclote River. A storm surge watch is in effect on both sides of the warning area: from the Okaloosa and Walton county line westward to Florida’s border with Alabama, and from the Anclote to Anna Maria Island.