Hurricane Michael Forecast to Hit the U.S. Gulf Coast
Tropical Storm Michael has strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane and is forecast to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast Wednesday, Oct. 10. The storm, 50 miles south of the western tip of Cuba as of 11 a.m. ET Sept. 8, may become a Category 3 hurricane by the time it strikes the U.S., according to the National Hurricane Center.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for 26 counties ahead of the storm’s strike. A hurricane watch has been declared for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida. Tropical storm and storm surge watches have been issued from the Mississippi-Alabama border to Tampa Bay, as reported by CNN.
“Life-threatening storm surge is possible along portions of the Florida Gulf Coast regardless of the storm’s exact track or intensity,” the National Hurricane Center said. “Heavy rainfall from Michael could produce life-threatening flash flooding from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of the Carolinas through Thursday.”
In Florida, Gov. Scott warned that the storm could bring winds in excess of 100 mph.
“Everybody’s got to get ready. Don’t take a chance,” Scott said. “We’re going to get storm surge, we have wind, we have a chance of flooding, we have significant chance of tornadoes.”
In the Caribbean, Cuba and the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula are threatened by the storm. A hurricane warning is in effect for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio and tropical storm warnings extent to the Isle of Youth.