Hurricane Michael may affect Sumter area later this week

NOAA: Hurricane Michael 2018 Projected Path, Spaghetti Models

Though Michael has a fierce core of winds around its eye, one of the biggest concerns with its eventual landfall is the storm surge likely to come in points east of wherever the hurricane's eye makes landfall. Be sure to make your preparations now, before the storm moves in on Wednesday night.

The NHC said in a tweet that a "life-threatening" storm surge and flash flooding was likely in areas of the Florida Panhandle and described the storm as "dangerous".

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday said it has alerted Filipinos in 5 southeastern U.S. states to prepare for Hurricane Michael, forecast to crash ashore midweek as a major Category 3 storm.

The latest models have Beaufort County located at the southern edge of the storm's cone of "uncertainty" heading into mid-week. Comparable storms include Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which had a pressure of 922 mb, and Katrina in 2005, whose pressure was 920 mb.

Scott declared an emergency in 35 counties and asked President Donald Trump for help.

The center said Michael will move northward across the Yucatan Channel later Monday, and across the eastern edge of the Gulf of Mexico Monday evening through Wednesday.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for. "It's started to slow down and strengthen out there in the Gulf and now we are looking at the possibility of a major hurricane hitting us dead on", he said.

Rain chances stand at 60 percent in Orlando on Tuesday and Wednesday before jumping to 70 percent on Thursday.

"If this storm hits Panama City, Tampa could still have storm surge", Scott said.

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A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from the Suwanee River to Anna Maria Island, Fla., including Tampa Bay. The Suncoast is at the very southern edge of the impacts expected from Hurricane Michael as it lifts north.

The life-threatening storm is then expected to rapidly intensify, threatening anywhere to the right of Panama City with the potential of up to 12 feet of storm surge. "This storm will be life-threatening and really risky". Storm surge could reach a monstrous 12 feet in some areas - enough to "easily go over the roofs of some houses", he said. The hurricane warning stretches from Pensacola, Fla., eastward to near Cedar Key in the bend of Florida Panhandle.

Thousands of Florida residents have been ordered to leave their homes as Hurricane Michael heads for the state's coast.

Reuters has reported that evacuation orders and advisories affect 500,000 people in Florida alone. On Monday, he advised residents to ensure they had three days' worth of food, water and necessary medications. "We haven't seen anything like this in the Panhandle in decades", Scott said at the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center.

With Michael's winds projected to be stronger than that, Wakulla County residents were urged to evacuate inland.

Between 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday and 11:00 a.m. EDT today, the storm's maximum sustained winds more than doubled in speed. We might also see some stronger storms that could bring isolated power outages.

AccuWeather predicted the storm's economic impact damage will approach $15 billion.

The region should brace for "major infrastructure damage", specifically to electricity networks, wastewater treatment systems, and transportation, Jeff Byard, the associate administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told reporters on a conference call, per Reuters.

"We expect less rain to fall with Michael, when compared to Florence", Kottlowski said.

Ashley Collman, Sinead Baker, and Bryan Logan contributed reporting to this story.

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