QR.bizNewsFlorida braces for lethal floods as hurricane nears

Florida braces for lethal floods as hurricane nears

Hurricane Michael is expected to strengthen rapidly over the next 24 to 36 hours and will be "a risky major hurricane when it reaches the northeastern Gulf Coast on Wednesday", the National Hurricane Center says.

Residents of barrier islands, mobile homes and low-lying coastal areas in the Big Bend area received mandatory evacuation orders Monday.

The center warned heavy rain, unsafe winds and life-threatening storm surges were possible across Western Cuba on Monday as winds picked up speed on the Gulf Coast.

Late Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center upgraded then Tropical Storm Michael to Category 1 hurricane status.

Michael is expected to become a major hurricane by today or tonight, according to a Monday evening advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

Heavy rain is not expected on Monday.

"As Hurricane Michael nears landfall, we are working with state and local officials in Florida to take all are in precautions and we urge all residents to be prepared and to heed local officials".

Meteorologists are projecting rainfall could exceed two to four inches on Wednesday and Thursday, with higher amounts possible in some areas.

Carpenter said conditions could "start deteriorating" in Beaufort County late Tuesday at the earliest, but effects would be more likely Wednesday or Thursday.

For this hurricane season, the US -based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasting service and Britain's Met Office predict between five and nine storms of Category 3 or stronger.

The NHC issued a hurricane watch for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwanee River in Florida and Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Sunday morning.

Michael began as a disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean and became a tropical storm over the weekend.

As of 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday, the hurricane was 365 miles away from Apalachicola, Florida.

With Florence still in mind, Michael may be making an appearance this week.

The governor says she will continue to monitor Hurricane Michael, along with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.

Florida State University and Leon County schools canceled classes from Tuesday through Friday.

Astronomical King Tide cycles will cause extra high storm surge on portions of the Florida Gulf Coast with the highest 7-11 foot surge near Apalachicola to Crystal River, 4-6 feet near Crystal River to Anclote River, and 2-4 feet around Tampa Bay. Ahead of Michael possibly becoming a hurricane, the government of Cuba issued a hurricane warning for Pinar del Río. "It looks like another big one", he added.

A new hurricane is making its way toward Florida and is expected to bring more rainfall to southeastern North Carolina this week

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