Evolving storm Michael expected to slam Florida as hurricane


As of the 5 p.m. advisory, Michael is now a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 80 miles per hour. It was moving north at 9 miles per hour - a speed that is expected to increase through Tuesday night.

Though Michael's impact on Northeast Florida could be hard to predict, emergency operation centers in the area are preparing for the storm.

A man pulls a boat as Tropical Storm Michael approaches in Cancun, Mexico, October 7, 2018.

A hurricane watch has been declared for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida.

The weather system could produce winds topping 111 miles per hour by Tuesday night, before slamming into the Florida Panhandle or Big Bend, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Meanwhile, Scott, the Republican nominee for US Senate, will be leaving the campaign trail for the "next few days" to address storm preparations, a campaign spokesperson told CNN.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely unsafe", Scott said Sunday after receiving a briefing at the State Emergency Operations Center.

He also stated in his message that there was reason to believe that Tropical Storm Michael could become a Category 3 hurricane, but it is unknown if weather officials have confirmed that possibility.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued on Monday for residents in Florida's Gulf and Bay counties, according to a statement from emergency officials.

"At this time. there are no plans for (a local state of emergency) but the storm is changing and shifting, so if there is a need to do that, between now and then, then commissioners (Tuesday) morning would learn of that", Manatee County information outreach manager Nick Azzara said. In 2016, Hurricane Hermine, which also targeted the Panhandle, submerged Cedar Key under a 9-foot storm surge.

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories for Hurricane Sergio and Tropical Storm Leslie. The storm is expected to bring power outages, storm surge, rains, flash flooding and tornadoes.

Scott said 500 Florida National Guard members had been activated for planning, logistics and response, and another 5,000 stood at the ready.

Michael was upgraded to a hurricane Monday and is expected to strengthen to a Category 3 hurricane before reaching the Panhandle and Big Bend area on Wednesday.

After crossing the Florida panhandle midweek, Michael is also expected to soak Tennessee and swaths of the Mid-Atlantic, including Virginia and Maryland, later this week.

Interests along the northeastern and central Gulf Coast areas are advised to monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Michael.

"Hurricane conditions will spread over portions of western Cuba this afternoon, where a hurricane warning is now in effect".

"We will look in the morning where the storm is tracking, the intensity of the storm", said Capt. Chris Volz, head of the Baker County Emergency Operations Center.