Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm, made landfall on Florida's Gulf Coast Wednesday. States of emergency were put in place in Alabama and Georgia as well as Florida.
- Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm, made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast early Wednesday afternoon.
- Michael is bringing heavy rain, life-threatening storm surge, and dangerous winds to Florida.
- States of emergency are in place in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
- The National Weather Service has called the storm “extremely dangerous.”
- An estimated 500,000 people were under evacuation orders and advisories in Florida alone.
Georgia, Alabama, and Florida have declared states of emergency as Hurricane Michael, an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm, wreaks havoc. The storm made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida on Wednesday afternoon and is expected to hammer the region over the next few days.
Michael is likely to dump heavy rain over Florida, Alabama, Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Some of those areas are still working to recover from Hurricane Florence.
The National Hurricane Center forecasted that a few areas could see up to a foot of rain.
As of 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the hurricane’s eye was approaching southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia. The core is expected to move through those states this evening.
Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama issued a state-wide state of emergency on Monday “in anticipation of wide-spread power outages, wind damage, and debris produced by high winds and heavy rain associated with Hurricane Michael.”
Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia issued an emergency declaration for 92 counties in the southern part of that state. “The emergency declaration is effective for seven days and makes all state resources available to local governments and entities within the impacted area of the hurricane,” his office said.
An estimated 500,000 people were under evacuation orders and advisories in Florida alone, according to Reuters.
In Florida “life-threatening” storm surge of up to 14 feet was forecast, though the National Hurricane Center said water levels are beginning to recede in some locations. A storm surge warning is still in place for the coastal area between the Okaloosa/Walton County line and the Anclote River. A hurricane warning is in effect from the same county Line to the Suwannee River.
A National Weather Service map shows when winds are likely to arrive in various states.
As of Wednesday afternoon, a storm surge watch is in effect in North Carolina, for the coastal areas between the Ocracoke Inlet and Duck. A tropical storm warning is in effect from Fernandina Beach, Florida to Duck, North Carolina, as well as in Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, North Carolina.
Ahead of the storm, Jeff Byard, the associate administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told reporters on a conference that the Southeast should brace for “major infrastructure damage,” Reuters reported. Specifically, electricity distribution, wastewater treatment systems, and transportation networks are likely to be impacted.