The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Category 4 Hurricane Michael Could be Strongest Storm to Hit Florida Panhandle in Recorded History
If it retains its strength, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said it could be the strongest hurricane to hit the Panhandle in recorded history. It could also be the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. this year.
"I guess it's the worst case scenario. I don't think anyone would have experienced this in the Panhandle," meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com told The Associated Press. "This is going to have structure damaging winds along the coast and hurricane force winds inland."The National Hurricane Center called the storm "extremely dangerous" and "life threatening."
The National Hurricane Center called the storm "extremely dangerous" and "life threatening."
Florida officials ordered about 375,000 people living in 22 counties from the Panhandle into north central Florida to evacuate, but Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford expressed concern that not enough people were following the order.
"I am not seeing the level of traffic on the roadways that I would expect when we've called for the evacuation of 75 percent of this county," he told The Associated Press.
The National Hurricane Center warned that the stretch of the Florida Gulf Coast from Mexico to Keaton Beach could see a storm surge of 9 to 13 feet.
Florida Governor Rick Scott took to Twitter to urge people to evacuate. "The decisions you & your family make over the coming hours could be the difference between life & death," he wrote.
He further warned the storm surge "means that the water will come miles in shore and could easily be over the roofs of houses," CNN reported.
His opponent in the Florida Senate race, Democrat Bill Nelson, agreed with him on the issue of evacuation.
"Don't think that you can ride this out if you're in a low-lying area," Nelson said on CNN, The Associated Press reported.
Scott has declared a state of emergency in 35 counties and mobilized 2,500 members of the National Guard, CNN reported.
In addition to the storm surge, Michael could bring 12 inches of rain to Florida's Panhandle and Big Bend, as well as southeastern Alabama and southern Georgia. Southern Virginia, as well as parts of the Carolinas recently inundated by rainfall from Hurricane Florence, could get up to six inches of rain.
Strong winds are also predicted for Florida, southeastern Alabama and southern Georgia, and the storm could spawn tornadoes Wednesday and Thursday.
The Florida Panhandle has only seen three major hurricanes in the past half-century: Eloise in 1975, Opal in 1995 and Dennis in 2005.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Cathy Cassata
Are you getting your fill of Starbucks' new Almondmilk Honey Flat White, Oatmilk Honey Latte, and Coconutmilk Latte, but wondering just how healthy they are?
1982 American Petroleum Institute Report Warned Oil Workers Faced 'Significant' Risks From Radioactivity
By Sharon Kelly
Back in April last year, the Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency decided it was "not necessary" to update the rules for toxic waste from oil and gas wells. Torrents of wastewater flow daily from the nation's 1.5 million active oil and gas wells and the agency's own research has warned it may pose risks to the country's drinking water supplies.
The mounting climate emergency may spur the next global financial crisis and the world's central banks are woefully ill equipped to handle the consequences, according to a new book-length report by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), as S&P Global reported. Located in Basel, Switzerland, the BIS is an umbrella organization for the world's central banks.