Major Hurricane Michael: Local Impacts Wednesday Night, Thursday

Hurricane Michael has officially made landfall in the Florida panhandle City as a Category 4 hurrica

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Here’s what to expect locally from Hurricane Michael:


A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the entire WTOC Viewing Area. Sustained winds of 39 MPH, or stronger, are possible within the warned area Wednesday night and Thursday. Sustained winds between 25 and 35 MPH are forecast to be more common.

Wind is expected to frequently gust between 40 and 50 MPH closer to the coast; between 50 and 60 MPH further inland. Communities in, or near, Montgomery, Toombs, Candler, Jenkins, Bulloch, Screven and Hampton Counties are forecast to experience the gustiest conditions.

Winds will cause scattered tree and power-line damage. Scattered power outages are also expected later Wednesday and Thursday.


Rainfall flooding is not a big concern across the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry. In fact, portions of Glynn, McIntosh and bordering counties may only see scattered showers.

The wettest conditions are expecting to remain, generally, northwest of a Highway 84 to Interstate 95 line. Widespread rainfall totals between two and four inches are expected there. Isolated greater totals are possible.

Around an inch of rain is likely along the coast; especially south of the Savannah River.

Coastal Flooding

While tides will continue to run high through Thursday, coastal flooding is forecast to remain relatively minor. Some water may creep onto portions of Highway 80 around times of high tide, but a complete closure is unlikely.

The tide will be at its highest between 9:30 and 10 a.m., as well as 9:45 and 10:15 p.m. near Fort Pulaski.

Tornado Threat

Bands of scattered downpours will rotate around Michael and impact our southwestern counties, first, this evening. Isolated storms are forecast to overspread the area tonight. These storms may rotate and produce brief, fast-moving, tornadoes.

Keep audible severe weather alerts turned on in your WTOC Weather App. If you do not have a smart phone, find a NOAA weather radio or similar alert device.

At this point, you need to prepare for scattered tree damage and power outages. Our impact will be nothing like the conditions being felt in the Florida Panhandle. But, hazardous weather remains possible.

If you are in a mobile home, and do not feel comfortable staying home tonight with a risk of isolated tornadoes, please relocate to a sturdier structure within your community; perhaps a friend or family member’s house.

Weather conditions are forecast to rapidly improve later Thursday. By Friday, fall-like weather arrives across the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry!

Stay with WTOC Weather team; we’ll keep you updated on-air, online and in the WTOC Weather App.

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