Governor Rick Scott has issued a state of emergency for 26 counties in the Big Bend and Florida Panhandle ahead of Tropical Storm Michael. The storm is expected to become a hurricane by the time it makes landfall Wednesday and could become a Category 2 storm, with winds exceeding 100 mph.
Scott addressed reporters Sunday afternoon at the state Emergency Operations Center.
He says to expect storm surge, flooding and the possibility of tornadoes to the east of the storm.
Tropical Storm Michael's impacts could be similar to what was seen during Hurricane Hermine, when 80 percent of Tallahassee lost power.
"Expect significant wind in the Tallahassee area," Scott told reporters.
School and state office closures have yet to be announced. The city of Tallahassee and Leon County are opening sandbag locations at the following places:
- Tekesta Park, at Tekesta Drive and Deer Lake Road in Killearn Lakes (County) opens Monday, Oct. 8
- Apalachee Regional Park (Landfill), 7550 Apalachee Parkway (County) opens Monday, Oct. 8
- J. Lee Vause, 6024 Old Bainbridge Road (County) opens Monday, Oct. 8
- At the intersection of Oak Ridge at Ranchero roads (County) opens Monday, Oct. 8
- Winthrop Park, 1601 Mitchell Avenue (City) open Sunday, Oct. 7
- James Messer Sports Complex, 2830 Jackson Bluff Road (City) open Sunday, Oct. 7
County locations will be staffed, and all residents will need to bring their own shovel. Sand, bags and ties will be available for public use. Residents are asked to take no more than 20 bags (25 at City sites) so as to allow others to prepare. Staff will monitor the sites to replenish as needed.
The National Hurricane Center's 5 p.m. advisory noted Michael is presently a tropical storm but is expected to strengthen into a hurricane during the next 24-36 hours. "Probabilities of significant impacts along the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend are increasing," the advisory says.