Hurricane Michael has been upgraded to a Category 4 and is projected to hit the Florida panhandle off the Gulf Coast Wednesday afternoon and travel northeast, passing through Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas, according to the Weather Channel.
Hurricane Michael is expected to hit the Hampton Roads area Thursday, so residents can expect “scattered” showers and “steady” rain on Thursday and high “wind gusts” on Friday, said Jeff Orrock, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Wakefield.
Orrock said the rain will start late Thursday evening and last until about 4 a.m. Friday. The area can expect anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of rainfall.
On Friday, there will be wind gusts around 55 to 65 mph starting at 4 a.m. and lasting until 7 a.m., with temperatures ranging from the high 70s to the high 50s, Orrock said.
He said the weather will be “short-lived” and advises residents to “put things away” and to expect a “few downed trees” and “spotty” outages.
There will be a wind and flood watch on Thursday and a wind advisory on Friday, Orrock said.
The City of Williamsburg is monitoring Hurricane Michael’s track and predicted forecast for the area. Despite anticipating only minor impacts from the storm, preparations are underway to deploy resources necessary to minimize those impacts of the weather event, according to a news release from the city.
All residents are encouraged to monitor weather forecasts and be prepared for changing weather conditions.
“We anticipate that as the storm moves into our area, there will be a band of heavy rain, a risk of flooding, and a strong north to northwest wind with gusts to tropical storm force,” said Fire Chief Pat Dent who also serves as the city’s Emergency Management coordinator.
In preparation for the storm, residents are encouraged to:
- Replenish emergency kits and review family emergency plans.
- Secure any objects that might be blown around by increased winds.
- Keep smartphones, cellphones, power packs and tablets charged.
- Citizens are encouraged to sign-up for Williamsburg Alerts to receive emergency information using this link: williamsburgva.gov/alerts
Dent reminds everyone that hurricane season runs through No. 30 – along with Hurricane Michael, storms Leslie and Nadine are active in the Atlantic Ocean.