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Pay attention to storm updates

Over the weekend, the newest and now potentially threatening weather system quickly emerged in the Caribbean, sounding alarm bells once again along the Florida panhandle and into the southern regions of Alabama and Georgia. The current projected path of the storm will have an impact on the majority of the state of Georgia, as well as the Greater Valley Area of Alabama, later this week.

Michael, which had strengthened to a category one hurricane as of Monday afternoon and is expected to achieve “major hurricane” status from the National Hurricane Center by this evening, will break landfall in the continental United States tomorrow morning. The storm front is expected to bring 111-120 mile-per-hour winds and life-threatening storm surges to portions of the Florida Gulf Coast, then dogleg to the right and chart a course from the southwest corner of Georgia toward the Carolinas, impacting portions of southeastern and eastern Alabama as well. While Hurricane Florence was a slow-moving system and poured water on the Carolinas for multiple days, Michael is currently expected to quickly make its way through the Florida panhandle and across Georgia once it reaches land.

The Greater Valley Area, as of Monday afternoon, was projected to be on the ‘good side’ of the storm. The expectation is that the area will receive between 2-4 inches of rain and will see wind gusts of up to 20 miles per hour over the course of Wednesday night and into Thursday. The more dangerous wind speeds will be felt in the southernmost areas of Georgia, and the southeastern most portions of Alabama.

However, this expectation is simply that, an expectation. Storm fronts such as this have been known to change direction quickly and erratically, meaning local area residents should not simply dismiss this storm as a non-factor. The newspaper will continue to post updates on our website, social media platforms and in the printed daily edition, bringing the latest information on the storm and expected area impact. Please stay tuned for updates as the storm continues to barrel toward the Gulf Coast, and take the necessary precautions to prepare for dire weather, should the storm take a turn that would more directly impact the local area.