West Virginia man prepares for impact of Hurricane Michael
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WCHS/WVAH) —
Hurricane Michael, a storm that can be seen from space racing up the Gulf coast toward the Florida panhandle, is headed toward Nick Schirtzinger, a man from Hurricane, West Virginia.
“The irony of every time a hurricane comes around it’s the first thing. 'Oh, you’re from Hurricane,'” Schirtzinger said.
Schirtzinger has put hurricane shutters all over his Panama City home and prepared his business, one of the only Tudor’s Biscuit Worlds outside of West Virginia, with tape over the tempered glass and a generator ready to go.
“Mainly to keep cold food cold,” he said. “When the power is restored, we can fire up and have business right away.”
Even though Saint Andrews Bay was calm before the storm on Tuesday, the threat of then Category 3 winds at more than 130 miles per hour had put the gulf on notice. The storm is now a Category 4.
“Something can shoot up at one of these windows pretty good, and once that happens it’s all fair game,” Schirtzinger said.
Florida Governor Rick Scott said he already called for federal aid in preparation for landfall, and told people the storm could be devastating.
“Hurricane Michael is a monstrous storm, and the forecast keeps getting more dangerous,” he said at a Tuesday press conference.
Many are listening, placing sandbags around coastal buildings and boarding up windows to protect those staying behind.
The icing on Schirtzinger’s cake, or wedding cake, was that he’s set to get married Saturday in Pittsburgh if he can get there.
His fiancé has already traveled north in preparation for the big day.
“God willing, we get out of here Thursday morning,” Schirtzinger said.
The storm is forecast to veer off toward the Carolina coast well south of Pittsburgh, which could be the only piece of good news for him.
“I’d like to not go through the same hurricane twice in one week,” he said.
Hurricane Michael is set to make landfall Wednesday morning.