Florida's governor orders evacuations to prepare for Hurricane Michael

October 8, 2018 23:46
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Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

Florida's governor mobilized National Guard troops and ordered Gulf Coast residents to head inland or get ready to evacuate as Hurricane Michael churned toward shore on Monday, with the storm forecast to strengthen rapidly before making landfall on Wednesday.

Michael was expected to strengthen to a major Category 3 storm by Tuesday with winds over 100 miles per hour (160 km per hour), making it one of the most powerful storms to hit the Panhandle of Florida in decades, state officials said.The storm was expected to bring up to 12 inches (30 cm) of rain with storm surges up to 12 feet (3.7 meters), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC). Michael was currently a Category 1 hurricane, at the bottom of the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in more than 20 counties along the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend. Scott advised Gulf Coast residents to prepare for possible evacuation orders, and he put more than 5,000 National Guard soldiers on alert.

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