Michael Intensifies Into a Hurricane; Dangerous Threat of Storm Surge, Damaging Winds and Heavy Rainfall Expected on Florida's Northeast Gulf Coast

Updated 10/16/18: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Georgia affected by Hurricane Michael beginning on October 9, 2018 and continuing.

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Updated 10/16/18: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Michael beginning on October 7, 2018 and continuing.

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Updated 10/15/18: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued Circular 26-18-23: Special Relief Following Hurricane Michael.

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Updated 10/13/18: FEMA issued an Emergency Declaration for areas in Alabama due to the emergency conditions in the area affected by Hurricane Michael beginning on October 10, 2018 and continuing.

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Link to associated ZIP Code list

MapAlert Disaster Viewer

NOTE: This has not yet been declared a Presidential Major Disaster.

Updated 10/13/18: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Michael beginning on October 7, 2018 and continuing.

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Updated 10/12/18: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Michael beginning on October 7, 2018 and continuing.

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Updated 10/12/18: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a press release titled HUD Announces Disaster Assistance for Florida Storm Victims.

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Updated 10/12/18: Approximate areas sustaining property damage:

Florida

Apalachicola (Franklin County, 32320, 32329)
Mexico Beach (Bay County, 32456)
Panama City (Bay County, 32401, 32402, 32404, 32405, 32406, 32412)
Tallhassee (Leon County, 32301, 32302, 32303, 32304, 32305, 32306, 32307, 32308, 32309, 32310, 32311, 32312, 32313, 32314, 32316, 32317, 32395, 32399)

Georgia
Oakland City
(Fulton County, 47660)
Flint River Estates (Crawford County, 31078)

North Carolina
Reidsville
(Rockingham County, 27320, 27323)

South Carolina
Irmo
(Lexingon, Richland counties, 29063, 29212)

Virginia

Achilles (Gloucester County, 23001, 23072)
Burkeville (Nottoway County, 23922)
Danville (Pittsylvania County, 24540, 24541, 24543)
Farmville (Prince Edward, Cumberland counties, 23901, 23909)
Jamaica (Middlesex County, 23079)
Lanexa (New Kent County, 23089)
Richmond (Independent City, 23173, 23218, 23219, 23220, 23221, 23222, 23223, 23224, 23225, 23226, 23227, 23230, 23231, 23232, 23234, 23235, 23241, 23249, 23260, 23261, 23269, 23274, 23276, 23278, 23279, 23282, 23284, 23285, 23286, 23289, 23290, 23291, 23292, 23293, 23295, 23298
Roanoke (Independent City, 24001, 24002, 24003, 24004, 24005, 24006, 24007, 24008, 24009, 24010, 24011, 24012, 24013, 24014, 24015, 24016, 24017, 24018, 24019, 24022, 24023, 24024, 24025, 24026, 24027, 24028, 24029, 24030, 24031, 24032, 24033, 24034, 24035, 24036, 24037, 24038, 24040, 24042, 24043, 24050)

Updated 10/12/18: The Weather Channel issued a report titled Hurricane Michael Recap: Historic Category 4 Florida Panhandle Landfall; Swath of Wind Damage and Flooding Into the Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic.

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Updated 10/11/18: Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam issued a state of emergency in anticipation of Tropical Storm Michael.

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Link to associated ZIP Code list

NOTE: This is independent from any FEMA Declared Disaster.

Updated 10/11/18: FEMA issued a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Michael beginning on October 7, 2018 and continuing.

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Updated 10/11/18: CNN published a report titled After pummeling Florida and Georgia, deadly Michael heads to the Carolinas.

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Updated 10/10/18: Georgia Governor Nathan Deal expanded on his previous state of emergency declaration to include 16 additional counties.

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Link to associated ZIP Code list

NOTE: This is independent from any FEMA Declared Disaster.

Updated 10/10/18: FEMA issued an Emergency Declaration for areas in Georgia due to the emergency conditions in the area affected by Hurricane Michael beginning on October 9, 2018 and continuing.

Link to declaration

Link to associated ZIP Code list

Updated 10/10/18: North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued a state of emergency in anticipation of the remnants of Hurricane Michael.

Link to article

Link to associated ZIP Code list

MapAlert Disaster Viewer

NOTE: This is independent from any FEMA Declared Disaster.

Updated 10/10/18: South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster extended a state of emergency due to flooding from Hurricane Florence and potential impacts from the remnants of Hurricane Michael.

Link to declaration

Link to associated ZIP Code list

NOTE: This is independent from any FEMA Declared Disaster.

Updated 10/10/18: Fannie Mae issued a press release titled Fannie Mae Reminds Homeowners and Servicers of Mortgage Assistance Options for Areas Affected by Hurricane Michael.

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Updated 10/10/18: Freddie Mac issued a press release titled Freddie Mac Confirms Disaster Relief Policies as Hurricane Michael Approaches.

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Updated 10/10/18: The Weather Channel issued a report titled Hurricane Michael Just Hours Away From a Catastrophic, Unprecedented Florida Panhandle, Big Bend Category 4 Landfall.

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Updated 10/9/18: FEMA issued an Emergency Declaration for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Michael beginning on October 7 and continuing.

Link to declaration

Link to associated ZIP Code list

Updated 10/9/18: Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Michael.

Link to declaration

Link to associated ZIP Code list

Updated 10/9/18: As Hurricane Michael is on course to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle, Safeguard has compiled an approximate county ZIP Code list associated with the area.

Link to ZIP Code list

Updated 10/8/18: Florida Governor Rick Scott amended his previous state of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Michael.

Link to declaration

Link to associated ZIP Code list

Updated 10/8/18: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued a statewide state of emergency due to the expected impact from Hurricane Michael.

Link to declaration

Link to associated ZIP Code list


All Client Alert
October 8, 2018

Source: The Weather Channel

Additional Resources:

Office of Florida Governor Rick Scott (Gov. Scott Declares State of Emergency for Tropical Storm Michael)

Link to associated ZIP Code list

NOAA National Coastal County ZIP Code list

Safeguard Properties Disaster Update Center

Michael has strengthened into a hurricane and is forecast to strike the northeast Florida coastline as a Category 3 with dangerous storm surge flooding, destructive winds and flooding rainfall.

Michael is currently centered about 50 miles south of the western tip of Cuba and is moving north.

Outer rainbands from Michael are already soaking the Florida Keys, and rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches are likely there through Tuesday.

Michael rapidly intensified from Sunday 11 a.m. EDT to Monday 11 a.m. EDT when its winds increased from 35 mph to 75 mph in that 24-hour period.

A hurricane watch is now posted for the northeast Gulf Coast from the Alabama/Florida border to Suwanee River, Florida. This includes Pensacola, Panama City and Tallahassee. Hurricane watches are issued 48 hours before the arrival of tropical-storm-force winds which is when outside preparations become dangerous.

Tropical storm watches are in effect from Suwanee River, Florida, to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay. Also in a tropical storm watch is a swath from the Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border as well as inland areas of southern Alabama and southwest Georgia.

A storm surge watch has been hoisted from Navarre, Florida, to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay. This means life-threatening storm surge inundation is possible in the watch area within 48 hours.

Interests along the northeastern Gulf Coast in the path of Michael should be making preparations. Follow the advice of local officials if you are ordered to evacuate, particularly if you live in a storm surge prone location.

Forecast: U.S. Gulf Coast Threat Midweek

Forecast guidance is unanimous that Michael will be drawn northward through the Gulf of Mexico and pose a threat to the northeastern Gulf Coast by Tuesday night or Wednesday.

Michael is expected to become a hurricane on Monday and will continue to intensify early this week, potentially approaching major hurricane strength before it makes landfall. This will be due to a combination of increasingly favorable upper-level winds and above average sea-surface temperatures along Michael's path.

Here's a general overview of what we know right now.

Timing

- Landfall is most likely to occur somewhere between the Florida Panhandle and the Big Bend of Florida Wednesday into Wednesday night. Depending on how quickly or slowly Michael begins to turn northeast, landfall could be delayed until early Thursday.
- Conditions could begin to deteriorate as early as Tuesday night on the northeast Gulf Coast.
- After landfall, Michael will then move farther inland across the southeastern U.S. into late-week.

Intensity

- The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Michael to be a Category 2 hurricane when it makes landfall. However, the intensity forecast is uncertain, and Michael could be slightly weaker or even stronger than that at landfall. There is a chance Michael could be near major hurricane strength (Category 3+) when it approaches the coast.

Wind

- Hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) could arrive in the hurricane watch area on the northeast Gulf Coast by Wednesday.
- Tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) are most likely to arrive in the tropical storm watch area on the northeastern Gulf Coast by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
- Widespread power outages, tree damage and structural damage could occur along the path of Michael near and just inland from where it makes landfall on the northeastern Gulf Coast.
- Windy conditions may extend farther inland across parts of the Southeast as Michael moves northeast, including parts of southern Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas. Although there is uncertainty with the strength of winds across inland locations, there could be scattered tree damage and scattered power outages.

Storm Surge

- Dangerous storm surge flooding will occur along the immediate coastline near and east of where the center makes landfall.
- Michael is expected to affect portions of the Florida Gulf coast that are especially vulnerable to storm surge, particularly Apalachee Bay south of Tallahassee.

The National Hurricane Center says water levels on the coast could reach the following heights if the peak storm surge arrives at high tide:

Indian Pass to Crystal River: 7 to 11 feet
Crystal River to Anclote River: 4 to 6 feet
Okaloosa/Walton County Line to Indian Pass 4 to 7 feet
Anclote River to Anna Maria Island including Tampa Bay: 2 to 4 ft
Navarre to Okaloosa/Walton County Line: 2 to 4 feet

Here are the high tides for Wednesday and Thursday for a few locations in the storm surge threat area (all times are local):

Panama City: 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday | 11:00 p.m. on Thursday
Apalachicola: 4:39 a.m. and 6:10 p.m. on Wednesday | 4:58 a.m. and 7:04 p.m. on Thursday
Cedar Key: 2:48 a.m. and 3:36 p.m. on Wednesday | 3:18 a.m. and 4:19 p.m. on Thursday
Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg: 2:46 a.m. and 4:06 p.m. on Wednesday | 3:09 a.m. and 4:55 p.m. on Thursday

On the Southeast coast, onshore winds and high astronomical tides will also lead to some coastal flooding this week. Charleston Harbor is forecast to see minor to moderate coastal flooding at high tide.

Rainfall

- Heavy rain is likely to spread inland from the northeastern Gulf Coast midweek to other parts of the southeastern U.S. into late-week.
- Rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches are forecast from the Florida Panhandle into southern Georgia, according to the National Hurricane Center. Locally up to a foot of rain is possible. This may cause life-threatening flash flooding in some areas.
- Some heavy rain could affect parts of the Carolinas that were devastated by flooding from Hurricane Florence. That said, this system is unlikely to stall like Florence did and will, therefore, not bring extreme rainfall amounts. Some flooding could still occur there, but details are uncertain this far out in time.

Tornadoes

- As is typical with landfalling hurricanes, isolated tornadoes will be a threat on the eastern side of the storm.
- A tornado threat may develop in the Florida Panhandle and southern Georgia by Wednesday.

Check back with weather.com throughout the week ahead for more details on the forecast for Michael.

Cuba and Mexico Impact
A hurricane warning is now effect for the Pinar del Rio Province in western Cuba. Hurricane conditions are possible there later Monday.

Tropical storm warnings have been posted for Isle of Youth, Cuba, and Mexico's northeastern Yucatan Peninsula, including Cozumel.

Rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches (locally 12 inches) are forecast over western Cuba, with 1 to 2 inches over the northeast Yucatan Peninsula.

These downpours could contribute to life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides, particularly in areas of mountainous terrain.

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