Donald Trump signed a state of emergency in 35 counties as Hurricane Michael strengthened to a Category 3 Storm on Tuesday, October 9 and forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned during a news conference on Tuesday:
“You cannot hide from the storm surge. We can rebuild your house, but we cannot rebuild your life. If you have 6 feet of storm surge, you’re out the middle of it, I don’t know how you’re going to survive, this storm can kill you and need to evacuate if you’re ordered to do so.”
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They expect the storm to make landfall near Panama City, Florida on Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. Most projected storm tracks show Michael will hit along the Florida Panhandle with wind speeds over 120 mph. Moving inland through the states of Georgia and the Carolina center in Michael’s path.
Hurricane-force winds will extend 45 miles from the center of the storm expected to go well inland, and with winds already at 120 mph, the storm threatens catastrophic storm surge, torrential rain, and heavy winds.
They urge people to evacuate in the predicted areas of landfall, with several evacuation orders already out. With Michael forecasted to be a major hurricane at landfall in Florida their power structure will probably take a bigger hit than the Carolinas did with Hurricane Florence.
Eastern Georgia, the Carolinas, and southern Virginia should expect 3 to 6 inches of rain through Friday. Western Cuba should prepare for 4 to 8 inches with the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, southeast Alabama and southern Georgia could expect 4 to 8 inches of rain and even more in some areas, the NWS warns.
Before landfall Florence got classified as a category 3 hurricane but dissipated to a category 1 hurricane as it made landfall and surged through the Carolinas early in September 2018. The storm dumped heavy rain along the coastal areas from September 13 and as it moved inland from September 15 to 17 widespread rain caused inland flooding and it left many without power.
The storm also spawned several tornadoes in its wake. Many areas received record-breaking rainfall with over 30 inches measured in some locations. Some areas are just recovering from Florence and have to ready themselves once more as Hurricane Michael overlaps with the path of Florence, especially in the Carolinas.
Hours away from hurricane Florence making landfall people came together praying for the welfare of those in Florence’s path, helping where they could, coming together as fellow humans and looking out for those in need. A touching video that went viral of students singing ‘Eye of the Storm’ and praying for those in the path of Florence appealed to the humility and hope of many, and with another hurricane about the hit the east coast of the US more prayers and help will definitely be needed.