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City braces for Michael

Hurricane expected to make landfall later today in area

Atmore city officials held their 24-hour pre-hurricane arrival meeting Tuesday morning at city hall ahead of Hurricane Michael’s expected landfall today.

Police Chief Chuck Brooks said FEMA requires municipalities to have a pre-hurricane arrival meeting every 24 and 12 hours. The 12-hour meeting was held at approximately 9 p.m. yesterday.

The meeting consisted of Calvin Grace, the city’s street superintendent, Fire Chief Ronald Peebles and Brooks discussing issues related to Hurricane Michael’s approach.

“All of the projected forecasts of the weather looks like it’s going to turn at some point,” Brooks said Tuesday morning. “This could possibly be a category 3 (hurricane), with winds above 110 miles per hour.

“We just pray for the people of Florida if it does continue to turn,” he said. “If it continues north, we stand ready.”

According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Michael is expected to produce a storm surge along portions of the coasts of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend and Nature Coast. A storm surge warning was in effect for those areas.

Additionally, water levels will rise well in advance of the center of Michael, and residents within the storm surge warning area should finish preparations to protect life and property, according to the NWS.

The NWS also indicated that major hurricane-force winds will also be present today, along the Florida Panhandle and into southeast Georgia.

Brooks said first responders and the street department will be on call during the storm.

“Our No. 1 goal after a hurricane hits, as in previous situations, is that we have an obligation to make sure the route to the hospital is cleared,” he said. “We’ll be assisting the power company to get power back, and removing any debris.”

Brooks said those who don’t have to be out on the roads to please stay home.

In regard to sand bags, Peebles said families can come by the fire department and pick some up. Ten bags will be given to each family, and they can be filled at the sand pile beside the farmer’s market.

As of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Hurricane Michael was labeled as a Category 3 storm.

EMA Director David Adams said Hurricane Michael is approximately 300 miles south-southeast of Pensacola, Fla. and has sustained winds of 120 mph. Michael is now a Category 3 storm.  Michael is moving to the north at 12 mph. The current forecast calls for Michael to continue to the north for several more hours and then start a turn to a more northeastern track.  If this holds true, this track will take the eye to the east of our area.