Storm Michael to slam Florida as hurricane

Michael almost a hurricane moving north into the Gulf	 	 	 			Michael continues to show signs of strengthening Monday morning

Forecasters say Michael has strengthening into a major hurricane with winds of 120 miles per hour (190 kph).

"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.

Right now, the National Hurricane Center predicts a landfall along the Florida panhandle on Wednesday.

The storm became a category 1 hurricane on Monday, and could be a category 2 or 3 storm by the time it hits Florida.

The current forecast would bring Michael into the region as a moderate to strong tropical storm. Comparable storms include Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which had a pressure of 922 mb, and Katrina in 2005, whose pressure was 920 mb.

In Georgia, which will be hit by damaging winds and downed power lines, Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for 92 of his state's counties.

"For emergencies, please call 911 and do not hesitate to call the Consulate at +1-646-630-2575 for further assistance" the consulate said on its Twitter account.

Overnight Tuesday, Florida Gov.

As Michael's eye moves inland, storm surge is likely to be the primary danger for coastal residents. "This storm will be life threatening and extremely risky". Some parts of Alabama are under tropical storm watches or warnings.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington advised some 232,000 Filipinos in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and SC to "monitor the movement of the storm and heed the warnings of local officials", the DFA said in a statement. Michael's potential of more than 6' of water in some of these areas is the reasoning behind the National Weather Service's storm surge warning and subsequent evacuations of low-lying areas of northern Florida.

As Hurricane Michael aims for the Florida Panhandle, people are boarding up and moving out.

Florida's most destructive storm in decades has prompted tens of thousands of evacuations on Florida's Panhandle.

On the forecast track, Michael was expected to pass northeast through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia on Wednesday Thursday as a tropical storm.

Tens of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate in Wakulla, Gulf and Bay counties.

As of the 11 a.m. advisory Monday, the NHC upgraded Michael to a category 1 hurricane, with winds of 75 miles per hour.

The Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale ranks hurricanes by their sustained wind speeds. Seas will build 10 to 15 feet late Thursday, peaking at 15 to 20 feet Thursday night through Friday morning. Lower central pressure indicates a stronger storm, so this one is extremely powerful.

Governor Rick Scott issued an executive order on Sunday declaring a state of emergency in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend as the state braces for Michael, his office said.

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