Hurricane Michael nears Florida, and global economy warning

Panovich: Hurricane Michael will bring heavy rain to the Carolinas

As the storm moved north it battered Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba with drenching rains and winds of up to 80 miles per hour (130 kph), the Miami-based hurricane centre said.

Although Michael will produce heavy rain showers, the storm's accelerating forward movement should allow those downpours to move through and not over-saturate most areas.

The couple were supposed to get hitched Wednesday in Florida's Panama City Beach, but Michael's approach forced mandatory evacuations there.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has warned residents to evacuate.

A storm surge warning is in effect from the Okaloosa-Walton County line to the Anclote River in Florida.

Forecasters anticipate Michael will reach land either in the Panhandle or somewhere along the state's Big Bend as soon as Wednesday morning.

By 11 a.m., Michael had winds of 110 miles per hour, just below a major Category 3 hurricane, and was getting stronger, drawing energy from Gulf waters with temperatures in the mid-80s.

As with any hurricane that makes landfall, there will be the risk of tornadoes being spawned.

Coastal storm surges of up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) are expected along the panhandle. "As Hurricane Michael nears landfall, we are working with state and local officials in Florida to take all necessary precautions", Trump said Monday.

Relatively minor flooding from a combination of king tides and 1 to 3 feet of storm surge from Michael, with Tuesday night's tide expected to be the highest.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency in anticipation of widespread power outages, wind damage and debris produced by high winds.

With just a month to go before Election Day, Florida voters in evacuation zones were given an extra day to register to vote, once offices reopen after the storm.

In Volusia County, emergency management director Jim Judge said residents are looking at "breezy conditions, some rain and potentially a couple of good gusts through the squalls".

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the storm's center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles, forecasters said.

People visit the beach while waiting for Hurricane Michael in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Residents of Florida's Panhandle frantically filled sandbags, boarded up homes and secured boats Monday as they anxiously awaited Hurricane Michael, which forecasters warned could smash into the state's Gulf Coast as a risky major hurricane within days.

Hurricane Michael is shaping up to be a "monster" storm, in the words of Florida's governor, but it doesn't look like there will be any major effects on the D.C. area.

"For those considering evacuation, I can't stress strongly enough the importance of leaving as early as possible", Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said on Facebook.

National Weather Service Hurricane Michael is expected to make landfall Wednesday along Florida's Panhandle.

The Florida Disaster website on October 9 said that parts or all of Bay County, Citrus County, Franklin County, Dixie County, Gulf County, Jackson County, Levy County, Okaloosa County, Taylor County, Wakulla County, and Walton County have been issued mandatory evacuation orders.

Scott extended a state of emergency to 35 counties and activated 2,500 National Guardsmen for hurricane duty.

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency for 92 counties.

Forecasters warned that Michael could ultimately dump a foot (30 centimeters) of rain in western Cuba, triggering flash floods and mudslides in mountain areas.

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