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Hurricane Michael takes aim at Florida after fatal flooding in Central America

11 October 2018

In addition, this rainfall will saturate the ground, making it more likely that trees will go down and cause power outages.

"This is all dependent on the track, but things that could be possible are coastal flooding, rip currents along the coast, beach erosion, possibly tropical-storm-force winds and 3-5 inches of rain", he said.

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

Hurricane Michael is closing in on the Florida Panhandle, forecast to make landfall as a "monstrous" Category 3 storm with a risky storm surge of up to 12 feet, officials said.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the tropical storm was crawling north toward the Yucatan Channel off of Mexico late Sunday night and was expected to unload heavy rains on western Cuba in the coming hours.Dr. Athena Masson, a hurricane expert, says Michael is now considered a high-end tropical storm. For a storm to be classified as a hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, it must have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour.

As of this writing, Michael is located twenty miles southwest of the western tip of Cuba.

Here is the latest information on Hurricane Michael.

The storm has already caused damage in Mexico and Cuba. A storm surge of up to 12 feet is forecast for a large section of the Florida coast.

Tropical Storm Leslie could once again redevelop into a hurricane as it spins in the open Atlantic. It is moving north at about 7 miles per hour and is expected to work its way Monday across the Yucatán Channel connecting the Yucatán Basin in the Caribbean Sea with the Gulf of Mexico.

In Carrabelle, Florida, resident Cole Lauzau said she is planning to try riding out the storm at home with her roommate and their dog.

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A hurricane is considered a major hurricane if it is a Category 3 or higher, according to the NHC.

As the storm moved north it battered Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba with drenching rains and winds of up to 130 kph, the Miami-based hurricane center said.

After striking Florida, Michael is forecast to move up the east coast on Wednesday and Thursday, plowing through the Carolinas, still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday called Hurricane Michael a "monstrous" and potentially "deadly" storm that is barreling toward Florida.

The storm is aiming at a region that stretches from Mobile, Alabama, through the Florida Panhandle and into the Big Bend area of northern Florida.

"South Carolina could experience periods of heavy rain, gusty winds, tornadoes and storm surge due to Hurricane Michael, with the greatest impacts beginning this Wednesday", the S.C. Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) advised in a tweet.

Scott has declared a state of emergency in 35 counties in Florida.

Carpenter said Beaufort County residents should stay informed and prepare for the storm's potential impact.

"Every family must be prepared". North Carolina may receive 2cm to 7cm of rain, officials say, which could trigger flash flooding due to the existing level of saturation in the ground from Hurricane Florence, which struck North and SC last month.

Hurricane Michael takes aim at Florida after fatal flooding in Central America