The outer rainbands of Hurricane Michael began quickly moving through Coweta County on Wednesday afternoon, but the area may not be out of the woods just yet.
Hurricane Michael blew onshore just east of Panama City around 1:30 p.m. as a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 145 miles-per-hour.
The size and strength of Michael changed the forecast drastically for the states of Alabama and Georgia. The storm was predicted to remain a Category 2 hurricane when it crosses both states Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service.
As of 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, Coweta County was not under a tornado watch nor a tropical storm warning. But NWS meteorologists said that could change as Michael moves through the state.
“It is possible for the area to see an isolated tornado, even though a watch hasn’t been issued,” said meteorologist Sid King. “People could see possible tornadic activity in the outer rainbands. We’re encouraging people to keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions and to take shelter if the weather gets bad.”
“If we have damage, don’t go out and look at it. Stay home, and let us clear it up,” said Jay Jones, director of the Coweta County Emergency Management Agency and the 911 center. “If something happens, call 911 and we’ll get some out to assist you.”
According to NWS meteorologists, Michael was still expected to stay south of Coweta County and move quickly off to the northeast into South Carolina.
The county will feel the greatest impact from Michael between the hours of 11 p.m. and 2 Thursday morning, according to meteorologists.
“The winds will continue to increase through evening and night, with maximum sustained winds ranging from 30-35 miles-per-hour and gusts up to 40 miles-per-hour,” King said. “The storm total rainfall will be 2-3 inches. But with the heavy rainfall, there could be some localized flooding.”
The Newnan Times-Herald is monitoring Hurricane Michael. We’ll keep you updated on the latest information online and on our Facebook page.