Hurricane Michael: Is it looking better for our area?

Current Position: 725 miles SSW of Savannah

Max Sustained Winds: 80 mph

Movement: North at 9 mph

Current CEMA OPCON: 4

DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK

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At 400 PM CDT (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Michael was located near latitude 22.2 North, longitude 85.2 West. Michael is moving toward the north near 9 mph (15 km/h). A northward to north-northwestward motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected through Tuesday night, followed by a northeastward motion on Wednesday and Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico this evening, then move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday and Tuesday night. The center of Michael is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night and Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 mph (130 km/h)with higher gusts. Steady to rapid strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Michael is forecast to become a major hurricane by Tuesday or Tuesday night.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). A wind gust to 75 mph (120 km/h) was reported at an observing site in Isabel Rubio in the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio earlier this afternoon.

POTENTIAL LOCAL IMPACTS

• 60-70% probability of Tropical Storm Force Winds (39mph) as early as Wednesday morning.

• Anticipated rainfall: 4-6 inches.

• Coastal Flooding

• Slight risk of flash flooding

• RIP Currents

• Isolated Tornados

• Beach erosion

ACTION

Now is the time to prepare for the potential impacts Michael may have on our area.

  • Secure loose or lightweight items outside your house or business.
  • Keep your vehicles fueled.
  • Finalize your disaster kit. You can visit ChathamEmergency.org for recommended items.
  • Ensure you have at least 3 days of water and non-perishable foods.
  • Ensure you have extra medications and medical supplies.
  • If your medication requires refrigeration, ensure you have a plan in place should you lose power for an extended period of time.
  • Make sure all information in your family communication plan is up to date and everyone knows the plan.
  • Sign up for Emergency Email and Text Alerts via Swift Reach by visiting the CEMA website to register.
  • Make provisions for your pet. Make sure they are inside, out of the elements, and have plenty of food and water.
  • Flooding is possible in low lying areas; Turn Around Don't Drown!
  • Plan for possible extended power outages. It may take several days to restore power.

For the South Carolina Lowcountry:

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division continues to closely monitor Hurricane Michael as it approaches the Gulf of Mexico. According to the National Hurricane Center's 5:00 p.m. advisory, the storm is moving north at 9 miles per hour and has maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour.Although the storm's impact on our area is not certain, forecasts indicate tropical storm force winds and isolated tornadoes may be possible Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning. In addition, there is an elevated threat for minor to moderate flooding—mainly associated with high tides—in coastal areas. The rainfall forecast for Wednesday night into Thursday afternoon is 4 to 6 inches.In advance, we would like to remind you to only believe information released by trusted sources and to avoid misinformation spread through social media. Please tell your family and friends to sign up for the Sheriff's Office's primary communications platform NIXLE www.nixle.com to receive up-to-date information on matters of public safety. The Sheriff's Office will keep you updated on Hurricane Michael and how it may impact Beaufort County. We also encourage you to monitor the storm on your own through the National Weather Service Charleston https://www.weather.gov/chs/

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