NEWS: General News

UPATE: Washington County Under a Hurricane Watch

October 8th, 2018 | last Update: 1 month ago

* CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - The Tropical Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Hurricane Watch for Baker, Brooks, Calhoun, Colquitt, Dougherty, Early, Miller, Mitchell, Thomas, and Worth * CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Ben Hill, Berrien, Clay, Coffee, Cook, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Irwin, Lafayette, Lanier, Lee, Lowndes, Madison, Quitman, Randolph, Terrell, Tift, and Turner - A Storm Surge Watch and Hurricane Watch are in effect for Coastal Bay, Coastal Dixie, Coastal Franklin, Coastal Gulf, Coastal Jefferson, Coastal Taylor, Coastal Wakulla, Inland Franklin, Inland Gulf, Inland Wakulla, and South Walton - A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Baker, Brooks, Calhoun, Calhoun, Central Walton, Colquitt, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Gadsden, Grady, Holmes, Inland Bay, Inland Dixie, Inland Jefferson, Inland Taylor, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Miller, Mitchell, North Walton, Seminole, Thomas, Washington, and Worth * STORM INFORMATION: - About 620 miles south of PANAMA CITY or about 590 miles south of APALACHICOLA - 21.2N 84.9W - Storm Intensity 75 mph - Movement North or 10 degrees at 7 mph SITUATION OVERVIEW ------------------ A potentially catastrophic event is developing. Michael has been upgraded to a hurricane and is forecast to continue to strengthen as it moves toward the northern Gulf coast, reaching major hurricane status tomorrow evening before landfall. With landfall expected along the Florida Panhandle or Big Bend coast Wednesday, significant impacts are expected across the area with impacts beginning late Tuesday to early Wednesday. These will include the possibility of life-threatening storm surge, widespread power outages, downed trees blocking access to roads and endangering individuals, structural damage to homes and businesses, isolated flash flooding and the potential for a few tornadoes. The main change with this forecast package is that Michael is stronger and slightly slower than the previous forecast, increasing our threat for higher winds and wind gusts as well as storm surge. POTENTIAL IMPACTS ----------------- * WIND: Prepare for life-threatening wind having possible devastating impacts across coastal portions of the Eastern Florida Panhandle and Big Bend. Potential impacts in this area include: - Structural damage to sturdy buildings, some with complete roof and wall failures. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Damage greatly accentuated by large airborne projectiles. Locations may be uninhabitable for weeks or months. - Numerous large trees snapped or uprooted along with fences and roadway signs blown over. - Many roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. Many bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable. - Widespread power and communications outages. Also, prepare for life-threatening wind having possible extensive impacts across the Eastern Florida Panhandle...Florida Big Bend... Southwestern Georgia...and Southeast Alabama. * SURGE: Prepare for life-threatening surge having possible devastating impacts across Apalachee Bay Coastline. Potential impacts in this area include: - Widespread deep inundation, with storm surge flooding greatly accentuated by powerful battering waves. Structural damage to buildings, with many washing away. Damage greatly compounded from considerable floating debris. Locations may be uninhabitable for an extended period. - Near-shore escape routes and secondary roads washed out or severely flooded. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed. - Extreme beach erosion. New shoreline cuts possible. - Massive damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. Numerous small craft broken away from moorings with many lifted onshore and stranded. Also, prepare for life-threatening surge having possible significant to extensive impacts across the Florida Panhandle. Elsewhere across EASTERN FLORIDA PANHANDLE...FLORIDA BIG BEND...SOUTHEASTERN ALABAMA AND SOUTHWESTERN GEORGIA, little to no impact is anticipated. * FLOODING RAIN: Prepare for dangerous rainfall flooding having possible significant impacts across the Florida Big Bend and Southwest Georgia. Potential impacts include: - Moderate rainfall flooding may prompt several evacuations and rescues. - Rivers and tributaries may quickly become swollen with swifter currents and overspill their banks in a few places, especially in usually vulnerable spots. Small streams, creeks, and ditches overflow. - Flood waters can enter some structures or weaken foundations. Several places may experience expanded areas of rapid inundation at underpasses, low-lying spots, and poor drainage areas. Some streets and parking lots take on moving water as storm drains and retention ponds overflow. Driving conditions become hazardous. Some road and bridge closures. Prepare for locally hazardous rainfall flooding having possible limited impacts across the Eastern Florida Panhandle and Southeast Alabama. * TORNADOES: Prepare for a tornado event having possible limited impacts across EASTERN FLORIDA PANHANDLE...FLORIDA BIG BEND...SOUTHEASTERN ALABAMA AND SOUTHWESTERN GEORGIA. Potential impacts include: - The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events. - A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions. - Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow-rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS ---------------------------------- * EVACUATIONS: Listen to local official for recommended preparedness actions, including possible evacuation. If ordered to evacuate, do so immediately. For those not under evacuation orders, assess the risk from wind, falling trees, and flooding at your location. If you decide to move, relocate to a safer location nearby. If you do not relocate, help keep roadways open for those under evacuation orders. * OTHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION: If in a place that is vulnerable to high wind, such as near large trees, a manufactured home, upper floors of a high-rise building, or on a boat, plan to move to safe shelter. If you live in a place particularly vulnerable to flooding, such as near the Gulf of Mexico or a large inland lake, in a low-lying or poor drainage area, or near an already swollen river, plan to move to safe shelter on higher ground. Closely monitor weather.gov, NOAA Weather Radio and local news outlets for official storm information. Listen for possible changes to the forecast. * ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION: - For information on appropriate preparations see ready.gov - For additional disaster preparedness information see redcross.org

 


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