Hurricane Michael barrels toward Florida as Category 4 storm

Hurricane Michael barrels toward Florida as Category 4 storm

Hurricane Michael barrels toward Florida as Category 4 storm

"Hurricane Michael is upon us and now is the time to seek refuge".

"Guess what? That's today", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.

The hurricane is continuing to gain in size - and forecasters have warned that Michael has the potential to be one of the worst storms in the region's history.

Michael was moving north at 12 miles per hour.

Hurricane Michael has been upgraded to "an extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm early Wednesday as it continues its approach toward the Florida Panhandle, forecasters said. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (72 kilometers) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (281 kilometers). It warned of life-threatening storm surges, hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall.

The category 4 storm is increasing in strength with wind gusts expected to top 130 miles per hour.

"A northward motion is expected through tonight, followed by a northeastward motion on Wednesday and Thursday".

Scott had warned of a "monstrous hurricane", and his Democratic opponent for the Senate, Sen. It is expected to weaken as it moves up into the southeastern US.

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Michael's eye was about 140 miles from Panama City and 130 miles from Apalachicola, but moving relatively fast at 13 mph.

While Florence wrung itself out for days and brought ruinous rains, fast-moving Michael is likely to be more about wind and storm surge.

According to the Associated Press, six people were killed in Honduras, four in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador.

As the storm closed in on the US, it caused havoc in the Caribbean.

Residents in Florida are scrambling to prepare for the imminent landfall of Hurricane Michael.

Storm surge could reach up to 14ft in parts of the hurricane zone. Much of this part of Florida is rural areas known for small tourist cities, beaches, wildlife reserves and Tallahassee, the state capital.

"If you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient".

Rainfall of 4 to 8 inches is possible in the path of Michael, the Florida Panhandle, and southern Georgia, southeast Alabama and portions of southwest of central Georgia. The heavy rains could cause flash floods, the NHC said, and spawn tornados in northwestern Florida.

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"Don't think that you can ride this out if you're in a low-lying area", Nelson said on CNN.

Some of the storm's most significant early impact was to offshore energy production.

"No long-time residents of this area will have seen a hurricane this strong before", said the Weather Channel. Many filled sandbags and boarded up homes. Residents also stocked up on food, water and gas.

Forecasters said some regions of the U.S. may see 30cm of rain, and storm surges of up to 3.6m. Scott expanded the order on Monday to encompass 35 counties.

In a Facebook post Monday, the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office said no shelters would be open because Wakulla County shelters were rated safe only for hurricanes with top sustained winds below 111 miles per hour.

High winds weren't the only danger.

President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration for the state, freeing up federal funds for relief operations and providing the assistance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and even tweeted.

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