Hurricane Michael weakens to tropical storm as it crosses Georgia

Hurricane Michael weakens to tropical storm as it crosses Georgia

About eight hours after landfall, Michael was downgraded to a Category 1 storm, with top sustained winds of 90 mph (150 kph).

NOAA's National Hurricane Center or NHC noted on October 9 that life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall can be expected along the northeastern gulf coast as Michael continues to move toward landfall.

"We are in new territory", National Hurricane Centre Meteorologist Dennis Feltgen wrote on Facebook.

The center of Michael's eye is then expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night and Thursday, and move off the Mid-Atlantic coast away from the United States on Friday.

Strong surf is impacting beaches in Gulf Shores, Ala. ahead of Hurricane Michael. "Don't think that you can ride this out if you're in a low-lying area", Nelson said on CNN.

Mandatory evacuation orders went into effect on Tuesday morning (Wednesday NZT) for some 120,000 people in Panama City Beach and across other low-lying parts of the coast.

Based on its internal barometric pressure, Michael was the most powerful hurricane to blow ashore on the US mainland since Camille in 1969.

Coastal storm surges of up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) are expected along the panhandle.

A major concern also is restoring electricity after what is expected to be widespread power outages. The remainder of Georgia, the Carolinas, and southern Virginia...3 to 6 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches.

What does this mean for the First Coast?

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General Terrence O Shaughnessy, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command, said some Florida residents may have been surprised by the rapid growth of the storm. This rainfall could lead to life threatening flash floods.

Tropical Storm Watch:Tropical storm watches are in effect from Chassahowitzka, Florida, to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay.

Here are some other facts that show the power of this "monstrous storm".

Scott also told caregivers at north Florida hospitals and nursing homes to do all they can to assure the safety of the elderly and infirm.

"Do not risk your life, leave NOW if you were told to do so", it said.

Large waves were expected from Mexico Beach to Keaton Beach, where they could reach 9 feet to 13 feet in height. As much as a foot (30 cm) of rain is forecast across Florida, Georgia and SC, the center reported. Many filled sandbags, boarded up homes and lined up to buy gas and groceries.

"We will probably evacuate to like Alabama or wherever we can go to be safe", she said. Its sustained winds were just 2 miles per hour (3.2 kph) shy of an extremely rare Category 5.

Forecasters anticipate Michael will reach land either in the Panhandle or somewhere along the state's Big Bend as soon as Wednesday morning. Please consult products from your local weather office.

Colorado State University hurricane expert Phil Klotzbach said in an email: "I really fear for what things are going to look like there tomorrow at this time".

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 35 counties and said he was seeking a federal disaster declaration from President Donald Trump, who promised full support for Florida's efforts.

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