Florida, Alabama bracing for 'monstrous' Hurricane Michael

Panovich: Hurricane Michael will bring heavy rain to the Carolinas

Hurricane Michael has been upgraded to a Category 3 major hurricane as of the National Hurricane Center's 5 p.m. Tuesday advisory.

If Michael is a Category 2 storm, it will bring winds of 96 to 110 miles per hour and can be expected to produce extensive property damage. More strengthening is expected today, and Michael is expected to become a risky category three hurricane tonight. "Residents and businesses in coastal Alabama must be vigilant and closely monitor the storm's path and be prepared for a major hurricane".

"Hurricane Michael is forecast to be a Category 3 storm when it makes landfall and the impact could be devastating".

North Carolina and SC will likely see heavy rainfall, which could cause flooding in areas already damaged by last month's Hurricane Florence.

Tropical Storm Leslie could once again redevelop into a hurricane as it spins in the open Atlantic.

A hurricane warning has been issued for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River, and a hurricane watch is in effect from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

As residents of coastal Florida evacuate, Hurricane Michael is expected to grow more severe before hitting the area as soon as Wednesday.

Storms can force the tide in or out, which means possible flooding, but a recent dry spell locally means the ground can withstand more rainfall, Orrock said.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said a "life-threatening storm surge" was expected along much of the coast of the Florida Panhandle.

Panovich: Hurricane Michael will bring heavy rain to the Carolinas

Hurricane Michael is expected to reach Florida's Panhandle region sometime Wednesday, before slowly moving through the bottom half of the southeastern United States over the next day. All told, over 100 counties throughout multiple states have received emergency declarations, and this CNN clip shows the storm's frightening approach on radar.

He said: "We don't know if it's going to wipe out our house or not". So, if you take in those tides, which are already a few feet above what they should be, and then you add the storm surge on top of that, both of those numbers combined nine to 13 feet of storm surge.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km).

Michael's trek to Florida is also affecting politics in the state. As Michael moves inland, southern Georgia and southeast Alabama can expect damaging winds, too.

In a Facebook post Monday, the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office said no shelters would be open because Wakulla County shelters were rated safe only for hurricanes with top sustained winds below 111 miles per hour (178 kph).

The storm surge in some places in Florida could reach more than 10 feet, the NHC warned.

Parts of Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia could see "life-threatening flash flooding" as a result of severe rain, according to a tweet from the NHC. "DO NOT ignore warnings from local officials- this storm could kill you".

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 35 counties along the panhandle and Florida's Big Bend regions.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Florida's Democratic nominee for governor, had planned to campaign in South Florida on Monday and Tuesday, but instead threw himself into helping his city's residents fill sandbags and make other preparations.

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