Hurricane Michael Live Updates: Category 4 Storm Lashes Florida


Their walk was in fact a rare moment of enjoyment: Ms. Mosca, a baker at a local doughnut shop, and Mr. Mosca, a state employee, normally do not get a morning off together. The couple, however, planned to spend the storm at a friend’s house.

“We have a lot of trees,” Mr. Mosca said, pointing to Tallahassee’s lush canopy above him. “And our house has a whole lot of trees.”

The latest forecasts have offered hope that the city would be spared the worst.

“We’re very lucky that the storm didn’t track further west overnight,” Mr. Mosca said. “But it’s terrible for the people in Panama City and Apalachicola.”

[Read more here about how Floridians were preparing for the storm.]

Hurricane Michael comes as undecided voters — and polls suggest there are not many of them in Florida this year — are finalizing their choices less than four weeks before statewide elections. It presents opportunities and hazards for a host of candidates eager to display competence and gravitas as voters make up their minds and begin casting their ballots.

Among the candidates are Governor Scott, who is running a fierce race for Senate against the Democratic incumbent, Bill Nelson, and Mayor Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee, the Democratic nominee for governor.

How they tackle the preparations and response to the storm could cement their standing as front-runners — or upend months of painstaking campaign work, rendered useless by the late-arriving taint of a botched disaster.

“It’s a chance to show leadership, but it’s also a chance to fail at leadership,” said former Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina, who faced a hurricane about a month before the election he lost in 2016. “People are observing the littlest of things — how you dress, how you pronounce things, your passion, your empathy — and you’re being evaluated moment by moment.”



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