Hurricane Michael has made landfall along the Florida panhandle as a major hurricane.
Governor Deal has added 16 additional counties to a state of emergency he declared Tuesday as a result of the potential impact of Hurricane Michael. Clarke, Oconee and Oglethorpe join the 92 counties in central and South Georgia. Michael is now a category 4 storm, with what forecasters are calling potentially catastrophic winds of 155 miles per hour. Experts say it’s the most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in nearly 50 years.
The National Weather Service says tornadoes are possible across the Florida Panhandle, southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina through Thursday morning as Michael moves inland.
Much of the state is under a tornado watch. That includes Clarke, Barrow, Oconee, and Oglethorpe counties until 2 am Thursday. In northeast Georgia, those counties as well as Madison are also until a flash flood watch until 2 pm Thursday afternoon.
Emergency Management officials say winds from Michael could reach 40 miles per hour or more in the area between the hours of 3 am and 11 am Thursday. Forecasters are still estimating 3 to 5 inches of rain, with the potential for higher amounts locally.