Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Sunday that he had declared a state of emergency in 26 counties in the state’s Panhandle and Big Bend regions as forecasters predicted Tropical Storm Michael would make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane later this week. . .
“This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous,” said Scott, who also warned of hurricane-driven storm surge that could affect most of the state: “If this storm hits Panama City, Tampa could still have storm surge.”
As of 5 p.m. Sunday, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said Michael had maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour and warned that the threat to residents along the northeastern U.S. Gulf Coast was “increasing.” The forecast called for the storm’s eye to move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico between Monday night and Tuesday night and approach the Gulf Coast on Wednesday. . .
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is the Democratic nominee for governor, had planned to campaign in South Florida Monday and Tuesday, but he said he would return to Tallahassee to help with storm preparations. . .
A tropical storm warning was in effect for the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth as well as the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche. A warning indicates tropical storm conditions are expected, in this case, within 24 hours. (Read more from “Florida Declares State of Emergency as Tropical Storm Michael Forecast to Become Hurricane” HERE)