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Michael expected to gain hurricane strength nearing Florida

Michael expected to gain hurricane strength nearing Florida

"Michael could produce three life-threatening hazards along portions of the northeastern Gulf Coast: storm surge, heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds", according to the hurricane center.

As of Sunday afternoon, Tropical Storm Michael has developed in the Yucatan Peninsula. The fix bill came in at more than $60 billion, ranking Irma among the most costly storms in USA history.

Michael's maximum sustained winds had reached 70 miles per hour, it said.

Meteorologists say they will be closely watching hurricane Michael over the coming 12 hours, as how the storm behaves and intensifies will provide a better picture of its potential strength at landfall in the middle of this week.

The NHC also added in its advisory that Michael is likely to turn into a hurricane by Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

Scott said during a 6 p.m. news conference that he declared an emergency in 26 counties in the Panhandle and the Big Bend - generally areas surrounding Tallahassee - because of a storm in the Gulf of Mexico that became Tropical Storm Michael on Sunday.

"With the National Hurricane Center forecasting Tropical Depression 14 to strengthen and impact Floridas Panhandle as a hurricane, families need to get prepared", the governor said in a release.




Michael will move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico through Tuesday night.

A much anticipated cold front will approach the area on Wednesday, shifting Michael east of the local area and finally bringing cooler temperatures and lower humidity.

Gov. Rick Scott issued a state of emergency for 26 counties in the Florida Panhandle and the Big Bend area, where winds in those areas could reach more than 100 miles per hour.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Leslie continues its easterly path across the central Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour. Where the strongest winds set up will again depend on the exact track of the storm.

"We're looking at a significant storm with significant impact, possibly greater than I've seen in my 59 years of life", Johnson said of the city, straddling the shore of Apalachicola Bay, a Gulf of Mexico inlet that reaps about 90 percent of Florida's oysters. "Storm surge can occur before, during, or after the center of a storm passes through an area".

Besides the hurricane watch, a tropical storm watch is in effect from the Suwannee River to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay, as well as from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

An Air Force hurricane hunter airplane was sent into the storm to investigate, the hurricane center said. Scott said state officials are already working on planning, logistics and first response with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Defense.


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