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 Mark Mancini
On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.
By Alex Schwartz
Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.
I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change
By Caroline Hickman
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?
For the past seven years, the Anishinaabe people have been facing the largest tar sands pipeline project in North America. We still are. In these dying moments of the fossil fuel industry, Water Protectors stand, prepared for yet another battle for the water, wild rice and future of all. We face Enbridge, the largest pipeline company in North America, and the third largest corporation in Canada. We face it unafraid and eyes wide open, for indeed we see the future.