Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Florida Prepares for Michael to Make Landfall as Hurricane

Popular
National Hurricane Center

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.


Michael, currently a tropical storm, is expected to develop into a hurricane Monday, hitting Cuba with rainfall before it reaches the northeast Gulf Coast Wednesday, CNN 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

An aerial view of a crude oil storage facility of Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) in the Krasnodar Territory. Vitaly Timkiv / TASS / Getty Images

Oil rigs around the world keep pulling crude oil out of the ground, but the global pandemic has sent shockwaves into the market. The supply is up, but demand has plummeted now that industry has ground to a halt, highways are empty, and airplanes are parked in hangars.

Read More Show Less
Examples (from left) of a lead pipe, a corroded steel pipe and a lead pipe treated with protective orthophosphate. U.S. EPA Region 5

Under an agreement negotiated by community groups — represented by NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project — the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will remove thousands of lead water pipes by 2026 in order to address the chronically high lead levels in the city's drinking water and protect residents' health.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

By Dave Cooke

So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.

Read More Show Less

By Richard Connor

A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible, a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain.

Read More Show Less
Ian Sane / Flickr

Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control showed a larger number of young people coming down with COVID-19 than first expected, with patients under the age of 45 comprising more than a third of all cases, and one in five of those patients requiring hospitalization. That also tends to be the group most likely to use e-cigarettes.

Read More Show Less