By early Tuesday, Michael's top sustained winds had risen some to 90 miles per hour (144 kph) as it headed north at 12 miles per hour (19 kph).
While they are monitoring the storm, some TT nationals whom Newsday spoke to are not unduly concerned. The below graphic shows the storm's projected path, which could also dump large amounts of rain throughout the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence.
More than 45 percent of the nation's refining capacity is located along the U.S. Gulf Coast, which also is home to 51 percent of total U.S. natural gas processing capability. "You can not hide from this storm". "That's the criticality of following directions".
The Atlantic Basin has seen seven hurricanes this year.
"My expectation is if you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient. So my expectation is everybody gets taken care of". Rick Scott posted a series of tweets warning residents to prepare and evacuate. Cedar Key to Chassahowitzka could see storm surge topping out between 4 to 6 feet.
"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely risky", Scott said in a news briefing. "Do not think you can survive it".
FEMA administrator Brock Long said the agency was prepared for the storm in all the states likely to feel Michael's impact.
"We are running out of time", the Republican governor said on Twitter. "This is the real thing, a significant threat to life and safety".More news: Fan almost nails Red Sox's Kimbrel with beer can
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Escambia through Franklin counties in Northwest Florida are included in the hurricane watch.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey declared an emergency for the entire state on Monday, anticipating wind damage, heavy rains and power outages.
Michael was expected to make landfall Wednesday in parts of the Panhandle where county jail inmates were enlisted last week to help clean up fish killed by the red tide. Some parts of Alabama are under tropical storm watches or warnings.
The governor's office cautioned that flash flooding and tornadoes are possible with any hurricane.
"Additional strengthening is forecast, and Michael is expected to become a hurricane later today".
Though Michael has a fierce core of winds around its eye, one of the biggest concerns with its eventual landfall is the storm surge likely to come in points east of wherever the hurricane's eye makes landfall. The storm's tropical storm-force winds extended 175 miles from its center, according to the weather center. The storm was centered about 30 miles off the western tip of Cuba, and about 520 miles south of Apalachicola. From Navarre, westward to the Baldwin County line, a Storm Surge Watch covers that area.
A hurricane Warning was issued from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to Suwannee River.
A composite image showing a man in Havana as Hurricane Michael passed Cuba and a satellite image of what was then Tropical Storm Michael approaching the Florida Panhandle on Monday.
Speaking alongside emergency officials in Pasco County, Scott said Monday he's waiving tolls.