Hurricane Michael Update: Mandatory Evacuations Ordered in Gulf, Wakulla, Bay Counties

Jack Phillips
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Hurricane Michael is a Category 1 storm and is still moving northward and will hit the northwestern coast of Florida.
Evacuations were ordered in Gulf County, said local officials on Oct. 8. Evacuations were also ordered in Wakulla County, officials said.
Florida State University also said it would cancel classes over the hurricane. “The university is expected to resume classes and normal business operations on Monday, Oct. 15,” it said in a statement on Oct. 8. “FSU is prepared to support students throughout the storm. All university departments are engaged and prepared to respond to student needs. On-campus residence halls and dining facilities will remain open for current residential students during the closure.”

A hurricane watch is in effect for the Alabama-Florida border to Suwannee River Florida, the NHC said in a 2 p.m. update on Oct. 8. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Suwannee River to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay, and a tropical storm watch is also in effect for Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

A storm surge watch is in effect for Navarre Florida to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay.

Hurricane Michael is predicted to hit Florida later this week. (NHC)
Hurricane Michael is predicted to hit Florida later this week. (NHC)

The NHC said that a storm surge of 8 to 12 feet could hit Indian Pass, Florida, to Crystal River, Florida. A storm surge of up to 5 to 8 feet could hit the Okaloosa/Walton County Line to Indian River area. Other places on the Florida Panhandle could see several feet of storm surge.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Cuban province of Pinar del Rio, and a tropical storm warning is in effect for the Cuban province of the Isle of Youth as well as the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, including Cozumel.

The agency advised: “Michael will move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday (Oct. 9) and Tuesday night, is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday (Oct. 11), and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night and Thursday (Oct. 12).”

The storm is forecast to strengthen even more as it passes over the warm Gulf waters.

“Steady to rapid strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Michael is forecast to become a major hurricane by Tuesday or Tuesday night,” the NHC said.

Hurricane Michael will also bring 4 to 8 inches of rain in some places along the Florida Panhandle and the Carolinas, with an isolated 12 inches of rain, the agency forecasted.

Two to 4 inches of rain could fall along the Florida Peninsula, Florida Keys, portions of the Mid-Atlantic States, and the southern New England coast. “Local amounts of 6 inches” could fall in some areas, producing flash floods, the NHC said.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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