By Carma Henry

By Jim Turner News Service of Florida

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday called Hurricane Michael a “monstrous” and potentially “deadly” storm that is barreling toward the state’s Panhandle and Big Bend region.

As the storm interrupted numerous political campaigns across Florida, including his own, Scott warned it could come ashore in the next couple of days with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph.

“We’ve never seen a storm like this hit this (the Northwest) part of our state,” Scott said after a briefing Monday afternoon at the Pasco County Emergency Operations Center in New Port Richey.

Michael has the potential to be the strongest storm in the region since Hurricane Eloise swept across Bay County in September 1975 with 110 mph winds.

Hurricane Opal carried 100 mph winds when it hit Pensacola Beach in October 1995. Hurricane Ivan made landfall near Gulf Shores, Ala., at 105 mph in September 2004. And Hurricane Dennis was at 105 mph when it hit Santa Rosa Island in July 2005.

At 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday, the center of Michael was about 30 miles southwest of the western tip of Cuba, 520 miles south of Apalachicola, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm …read more

Source:: The Westside Gazette