As of 4 a.m. Michael is now a Tropical Storm and is weakening over eastern Georgia. The storm is located about 30 miles west of Augusta, Georgia and moving quickly to the northeast at 21 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami say Michael will move through eastern Georgia into central South Carolina this morning. It will then move across portions of central and eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia into the Atlantic Ocean by late tonight or early tomorrow.
Escambia County state offices will remained closed through today. Escambia is one of the 35 counties included in Gov. Rick Scott’s emergency order. The Fort Pickens, Perdido Key, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa areas of the Gulf Islands National Seashore will remain closed.
The historic impact of Category 4 Hurricane Michael forced the closure of a long stretch on Interstate 10 in Northern Florida as crews work to clear debris. The interstate has been shut down in at least 16 counties overnight. Florida Highway Patrol has closed a 40-mile stretch from DeFuniak Springs to near Greensboro. There is no word on how long the highway will be closed.
As of 4 a.m. this morning, Gulf Power is reporting they still have nearly 112,000 customers without power in the wake of Hurricane Michael. The majority of those are in Bay County, where more than 95-thousand remain in the dark. The number is 6,000 in Walton County. In Escambia County, about 100 customers were without power this morning.
Although Pensacola International Airport is operating normally again today, passengers should check with their airlines for information on further delays. American Airlines, Southwest and United all confirm that some of their morning flights were cancelled. Delta, Frontier and Silver say they are back to normal operations.