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Hurricane Michael is expected to become a hurricane today (Monday, Oct. 8) and impact the Florida Panhandle midweek. This is a dangerous storm and could be close to a Category 3 hurricane by Tuesday night.
A Category 3 hurricane wind speed is 111 mph (178 kph) or more on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale.
The State of Florida is making preparations. Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for counties in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend so state and local officials will have the time, resources and flexibility to adequately prepare.
According to the National Hurricane Center, after hitting Florida, Michael will move north-eastward across the southeastern part of the country on Wednesday night and Thursday.
The latest projections have Michael on a path to hit the Alabama-Florida border early Thursday. It’s expected that the storm will continue traveling up into Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. Tropical storm conditions are expected in Georgia on Wednesday and Thursday with 70 mph winds.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has advised Gulf Coast residents to prepare for possible evacuation orders and has put more than 5,000 National Guard soldiers on alert.
If you live or work in any of the affected states, please take the time to go through this Hurricane Preparation Checklist to ensure you’re prepared.