Science

Hurricane Michael Expected to Make Landfall Wednesday

Hurricane Michael Expected to Make Landfall Wednesday”

Hurricane Michael has strengthened to a category three storm, with winds near 193kmh as it churns towards the Florida coast, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) says. Tropical-storm force winds extending 185 miles (295 kilometers) from the center were already lashing the coast.

Rainfall could reach up to a foot (30 centimeters), and the life-threatening storm surge could swell to 14 feet (4 meters).

Tallahassee´s Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is campaigning to succeed Scott as governor in next month´s elections, suspended his campaign and returned to the state capital to oversee storm preparations.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said Michael was expected to be "the most deadly, destructive storm to the Panhandle in decades".

Heavy rains are forecast for the Carolinas, which were drenched by Hurricane Florence last month.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for 92 counties in his state.

Forecasters in Alabama warned of possible tornados.

President Donald Trump said federal emergency officials are standing by to help with recovery efforts.

"The time for evacuating along the coast has come and gone", he warned later on Wednesday morning.

The NHC said that it could hit anywhere along the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area.

As with many similar mega-storms in this age of climate change and extreme weather, an "ominous" Hurricane Michael is heading for USA landfall on Wednesday alongside grave warnings of destruction with weather experts and government officials raising last-minute alarms for people to seek shelter or flee vulnerable areas before the storm hits.

A number mandatory evacuations have been ordered in Florida counties ahead of Michael.

Michael was forecast to have the power to uproot trees, block roads and knock out power for days by the time it hits Florida on Wednesday.

In St. Marks, John Hargan and his family gathered up their pets and evacuated to a raised building constructed to withstand a Category 5 after water from the St. Marks River began surrounding their home.

The storm caused widespread destruction in Central America over the weekend, where at least 13 people have been reported dead. Tens of thousands of people were told to evacuate coastal areas as the storm moved over the Gulf of Mexico, bringing winds of 120mph and disrupting oil production.

Five drilling rigs have been moved out of the storm's path, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.



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