9:32am – Woken up by an automated call from my doctor’s office. At least, it isn’t “Rachel from Cardholder Services.”
10am – Tropical Storm/Surge Watches are now in effect for Coastal North Carolina… but have been lifted for the Alabama/Mississippi border region.
11:20am – A still graphic from TWC shows Tampa Bay is out of immediate danger, though strong outlying bands are still expected throughout the day into Thursday.
11:57am – However, NWC office in Tampa says that while most of Central Florida will be “uneffected” by Michael, Tampa Bay can still get “high storm surge, extensive coastal flooding and severe damage to docks, marinas and coastal dunes.”
12:04pm – Eyewall of Michael coming ashore along the coast of the Florida Panhandle…life threatening storm surge and catastrophic winds moving onshore.
12:37pm – Thank you to people calling/texting me, but as I said above, “Central Florida is under no immediate threat due to this storm” (I’m just bored, lol)
1pm – Hurricane Michael intensifies (cat 4) as it makes landfall near Mexico Beach Florida (nowhere near me) with life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall occurring over the Florida panhandle…
1:09pm – Duke Energy is predicting that at least 100k customers will lose power due to the storm.
1:13pm – Gov. Rick Scott activated the Florida Disaster Fund to help with the aftermath of the storm
1:37pm – Unfortunately, all the news stories I’m seeing now are “live coverage” (which do me exactly zero good, lol) so, I may have to end today’s live blog a bit early…
10am: While Central Florida is not expected to see a direct hit (aside from periphery rain/wind), the governor warned that the Panhandle, Big Bend and Gulf Coast cities as far south as Tampa could see dangerous storm surges of 8-12’ as the storm approaches.
Noon: Yahoo News is reporting that Michael is now a category 2 storm.
1:04pm – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Georgia has declared a “State of Emergency”
1:45pm – Governor Rick Scott orders mandatory evacuations for 11 Floridian counties.
1:50pm – The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that, with winds of 110mph, Michael is “nearing a category 3 storm” with winds tomorrow topping 125mph.
2:14pm – United Airlines has canceled flights scheduled for Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon to three airports in Florida — Pensacola, Panama City and Destin.
2:21pm – Radar on TWC shows small bands of moderate rain are moving through southern Orlando. The sky over SeaWorld is dark, but the steady winds seem relatively calm… for now anyway.
2:39pm – Orlando Weekly is reporting that Florida Democrats are suing to extend the voter registration deadlines due to the hurricane.
3:12pm – The Washington Examiner is reporting that Hurricane Michael could cause “13 billion in property damages”
4pm – Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Eastern/Southern Georgia with Tropical Storm Watches in effect for both North and South Carolina (neither of which need this after the pounding they took from Florence).
4:08pm – USA Today is saying Michael could be one of the worst storms on record to hit the Florida Panhandle.
4:28pm – A larger swath of heavy rain has just descended upon Orange County, but Central Florida is still slated to get less than 3” of rain out of this storm (a change from their previous estimate of 1-2”)
5:19pm – The rain band from the previous line appears to have moved offshore as sunlight barely pokes its way through the clouds. Yet, landfall in Northern Florida is still a day away…
1:12pm – Phone is charged, so I check the forecast on TWC app: Rain chance is negligible, but the winds have strengthen a bit, so I grab a light windbreaker and my hat and go downstairs to wait for the bus. As I’m waiting, a light rain begins to fall…
1:33pm – arrive at the bus stop outside the Publix at Regency Center. The rain has now stopped, and I am able to take some pictures of some ibis feeding in the wet ground near the pond before going inside the nearby McDonalds. Oh, and the new mystery store they just built next to Freddy’s is another Starbucks so yah… I guess.
2:19pm – leave Publix to find it is once again raining lightly, but, as I am waiting there, it slowly gets heavier and is a full-fledged downpour by the time we reach SeaWorld.
2:45pm – Did I mention, my umbrella was back at the unit? Because it was, and I’m now soaking wet… and so are my groceries, but at least, we’re inside as the rain slowly winds down outside. Not sure if standard a summer storm or an early “feeder band” (landfall in Florida is still 2 days away).
4pm – National Hurricane Center is reporting that Storm Surge/Hurricane warnings have been issued for Florida’s Gulf Coast stretching to the Alabama border (from there west is a Tropical Storm Warning). Rainfall totals along the Northern Gulf Coast are expected to be between 4-8” (whereas Orlando, which is not expected to be hit directly, will get 2-3”)
4:30pm – FSU closes its Tallahassee and Panama City campuses in advance of the storm.
7pm – No new warnings/watches, and rainfall is still predicted to be between 4-8” in Northern Florida/Southern Georgia with heavier hit areas could get as much as 12”.
9:05pm – moderate rain is back, but it’s expected to stop again by midnight. You’ll forgive me if I don’t feel like staying up to confirm this… right?