State of emergency declared in Florida, Alabama as storm preparations begin for Hurricane Michael

By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
October 09, 2018, 2:12:05 PM EDT

The Gulf Coast is preparing for the impacts from Hurricane Michael, which will impact the region at midweek. Michael strengthened into a hurricane on Monday morning.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered activation of the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee to enhance coordination between federal, state and local agencies.

“Our state understands how serious tropical weather is and how devastating any hurricane or tropical storm can be,” Scott said. “As we continue to monitor this storm’s northward path toward Florida, it is critically important that our communities have every available resource to keep everyone safe and prepared.”

Rick Scott

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, right, speaks during a news conference at the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Four Office, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Scott spoke about the SW 10th Street Connector. Scott is challenging three-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey also issued a state of emergency on Monday afternoon.

“Alabama is once again in the path of a hurricane, but I know Alabamians will once again come together and be prepared for whatever Michael may bring,” Ivey said. “On the state level we are prepared, now is the time for residents in south Alabama to review your emergency preparedness plans and also get prepared. Most importantly, heed all warnings and instructions from local authorities."

The largest swells and greatest hazards can be anticipated over the eastern and central Gulf of Mexico, but seas can still turn rough along the Texas coastline and at southeastern U.S. Atlantic beaches by midweek.

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“If any Florida family doesn’t have an emergency preparedness plan, now is the time to act,” Scott said. “Floridians also know just how quickly the path of a storm can change and that’s why we all must be vigilant and get prepared today.”

Scott said on Monday that families should have enough food, water and medicine to last them for at least three days.

Wind gusts capable of causing local power outages and minor damage to structures can also threaten these areas as Michael churns northward and strengthens.

Leon County Schools in Tallahassee, Florida, announced on Twitter that the district is monitoring the storm.

Florida State University also announced via Twitter that the college, located in Tallahassee, will close Tuesday through Friday.

The Tallahassee mayor's office said in a Facebook post that their staff will be contacting local nursing homes and assisted living facilities about their emergency plans.

There are two sand bag locations in Tallahassee, one at James Messer Park South and the other at Winthrop Park.

For a complete forecast on Michael, click here.

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