Hurricane Michael Upgraded To A Category 3 Storm

FIRST ALERT Michael is now a hurricane expected to be major hurricane at landfall

'Running out of time': Florida braces for dangerous floods as Hurricane Michael strengthens

"My expectation is if you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient. Take care of them", he said.

"Hurricane Michael is a monster storm and it keeps getting more unsafe", Florida Governor Rick Scott told a news conference on Tuesday.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is also the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the November 6 elections, said on Sunday he was cancelling his campaign events and returning to Tallahassee to focus on storm preparations. "Residents in these areas should follow all advice given by their local officials", the hurricane center said.

Two years ago, Hurricane Hermine knocked out power for days in Tallahassee and caused widespread flooding as it came up through the Gulf Coast. "There's nothing between us and this storm but warm water' and I think that's what terrifies us about the potential impacts".

If high winds strike Maryland, the southern and eastern portions of the state are again at the greatest risk. Some southern Alabama counties were under a tropical storm watch Monday afternoon.

The governor also told Florida hospitals and nursing homes to do all they can to assure the safety of the frail and elderly.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River, with a hurricane watch in place from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

"I am concerned about the cone of uncertainty as Hurricane Michael is leaning west today", Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings said in a statement Monday. It was moving to the north at 12 mph with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, that's up from 100 mph from the previous advisory.

Forecasters said Michael's tropical storm-force winds stretched 370 miles (595 kilometers) across, with hurricane-strength winds extending up to 35 miles (55 kilometers) from the center. The storm was centered about 390 miles (627 kilometers) south of Apalachicola and 420 miles (675 kilometers) south of Panama City, Florida.

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If the Hurricane Center's forecast track shifts further westward, that would be good news for the area, he said.

He said tolls were being suspended in the state's northwest region to ease the evacuation process, and the Florida Highway Patrol is sending almost 350 state troopers to the Panhandle and Big Bend areas.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has issued a state of emergency due to the expected impact of Hurricane Michael.

Because of this threat of power outages, Horry County spokeswoman Kelly Moore said residents should make sure they're prepared to be without electricity. He also has declared a state of emergency for 35 counties and asked President Donald Trump for assistance ahead of the storm. The worst storm surge is expected between Mexico Beach and Keaton Beach, where nine to 13 feet of inundation is possible, forecasters warned.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced an extension Tuesday morning that will allow county supervisors to accept paper voter-registration applications when they reopen from the storm.

"We expect Hurricane Michael to make landfall between Panama City, Florida, and Apalachicola, Florida, sometime later Wednesday or Wednesday night", according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

The evacuation orders went into effect Tuesday morning for some 120,000 people near the beach and other areas of Bay County.

In a Facebook post Monday, the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office said no shelters would be open in Wakulla County because Michael was forecast to become a major hurricane with winds topping 111 miles per hour (178 kph).

In a Facebook post Monday, the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office said no shelters would be open because Wakulla County shelters were rated safe only for hurricanes with top sustained winds below 111 miles per hour (178 kph).

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