Michael Strengthens To Category 3 Hurricane

Oct 9, 2018

Updated 5:20 p.m. Tuesday

Michael has strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained wind speeds of 120 miles-per-hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The hurricane is currently about 295 miles south of Panama City, Florida, but will likely make landfall in the panhandle by 1 p.m. Wednesday. Michael will move northeast into Georgia, likely arriving in South Carolina around 1 p.m. Thursday before it moves into North Carolina.   

Graphs released by the center show a predicted 4 to 6 inches of rainfall in the Charlotte region, with some areas of the Carolinas expecting 6 to 10 inches. The eastern part of the state could see 2 to 4 inches.

Charlotteans can also expect strong winds — sustained winds could be between 10 and 20 miles-per-hour in Charlotte with gusts of up to 30 miles-per-hour. 

Updated: 11 a.m. Tuesday

Hurricane Michael is projected to make landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast at 1 p.m. Wed. and to be in North and South Carolina between Thursday and Friday morning.

Michael has 110 miles per hour sustained winds. When it reaches the Carolinas, it's expected to bring 3 to 5 inches of rain to the Charlotte region. Michael will also bring sustained winds of 10 to 20 miles per hour with gusts of 30 miles per hour.

Gov. Roy Cooper said in a press conference this morning that the state’s problems following Hurricane Florence could be compounded by Michael because some rivers are still elevated. Saturated grounds from Florence could also lead to more flash flooding.

The governor encouraged people with homes damaged from Florence to secure them and prepare for Michael.

“We know we have to be ready,” Cooper said. “And hurricane-weary North Carolinians cannot let their guard down just because we’re fatigued with Hurricane Florence.”

Yesterday, a spokesperson for the state’s emergency services branch of the Department of Public Services said local and state disaster responders have regrouped from Hurricane Florence and are prepared to deal with Michael.