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Florida Prepares for Michael to Make Landfall as Hurricane
Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 26 counties as the state prepares for Hurricane Michael to make landfall later this week, The Florida Channel reported.
"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous," Scott said in a briefing reported by CNN. He warned that it would reach the Florida Panhandle potentially as a Category Two storm, with winds of more than 100 miles per hour.
"Everybody's got to get ready. Don't take a chance," he said. "We're going to get storm surge, we have wind, we have a chance of flooding, we have a significant chance of tornadoes."
Scott has mobilized 500 troops of the Florida National Guard in advance of the storm.
Michael, which formed near the Yucatan Peninsula Sunday, is first expected to hit Cuba, which has declared a hurricane warning for the province of Pinar del Rio and a tropical storm warning for the province Isle of Youth. There is also a tropical storm warning in effect from Tulum to Cabo Catoche along the Mexican coast.
Western Cuba could see as much as 12 inches of rain in some areas, and between four to eight in others, putting it at risk for mudslides and flooding that the National Hurricane Center said could be "life-threatening."
Michael is currently 90 miles east of Cozumel, Mexico and moving north. It rapidly intensified between Sunday and Monday mornings, with winds rising from 35 to 70 miles per hour, The Weather Channel said.
Michael is intensifying into a Hurricane partly because of favorable upper-level winds and partly because of above-average surface ocean temperatures along its path. Record temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico linked to climate change were partly responsible for the excess rainfall of last year's Hurricane Harvey.
Rain from Michael is already falling on the Florida Keys, which will receive two to four inches by Tuesday. The storm is expected to make landfall at Florida's Panhandle and Big Bend Wednesday, or potentially Thursday morning, then continue inland across the Southeast. Heavy rainfall could reach parts of the Carolinas that suffered extensive flooding from Hurricane Florence, but Hurricane Michael is not expected to stall, so the flooding risk is not as severe.The storm is disrupting the campaign schedule of Scott, who is running for Florida Senate, CNN reported. Scott was named a "Fossil Fool" ahead of the election by the Sierra Club for denying climate change despite the fact that his state is especially at risk from sea level rise and more extreme storms.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Claire O'Connor
Agriculture is on the front lines of climate change. Whether it's the a seven-year drought drying up fields in California, the devastating Midwest flooding in 2019, or hurricane after hurricane hitting the Eastern Shore, agriculture and rural communities are already feeling the effects of a changing climate. Scientists expect climate change to make these extreme weather events both more frequent and more intense in coming years.
In Long Beach, California, some electric buses can charge along their route without cords or wires.
When a bus reaches the Pine Avenue station, it parks over a special charging pad. While passengers get on and off, the charger transfers energy to a receiver on the bottom of the bus.
EPA Watchdog: White House Blocked Part of Truck Pollution Investigation, Caused Lack of Public Information
The Trump administration pushed through an exemption to clean air rules, effectively freeing heavy polluting, super-cargo trucks from following clean air rules. It rushed the rule without conducting a federally mandated study on how it would impact public health, especially children, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Inspector General Charles J. Sheehan in a report released yesterday, as the AP reported.