'Extremely Dangerous' Hurricane Michael Set to Hit Florida Panhandle

Hurricane Michael seen from space off the coast of Florida

Modal Trigger Hurricane Michael seen from space off the coast of Florida NASA

Their single-story home is built to withstand winds blowing up to 130 miles per hour, Williams said, but rising water is scary.

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

Florida Governor Rick Scott said Michael was expected to be "the most deadly, destructive storm to the Panhandle in decades". "Bay County (Panama City) likely to be ground zero for landfall later this afternoon".

He also warned caregivers at north Florida hospitals and nursing homes to do all possible to assure the safety of the elderly and infirm.

The Charlotte region will see inches of rain over the next three days and winds near 30 miles per hour, experts predict.

In Central Florida, the onshore winds will generate off and on gusty squalls throughout the day. This track will keep any of the heavy rain from Michael away from New England.

Winds 154-177km/h Roofs and trees could be damaged.

"We've got canned food and a can opener".

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

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"I feel like that they should've provided something", she said. "If it does I guess we'll be swimming", he said Tuesday evening as the sky darkened overhead. "And that was a Category 3", said Bob Hurst of the Bay County Historical Society.

More than 375,000 Floridians were told to evacuate leading up to Hurricane Michael, the Associated Press reports.

"What worries me is the storm surge", said Williams, who has lived on the street about 24 years.

The center added an ominous note, saying, "Strengthening is expected, and Michael is forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall in Florida".

The storm appeared to be so powerful - with a central pressure dropping to 933 millibars - that it was expected to remain a hurricane as it moves over central Georgia early Thursday, and unleash damaging winds all the way into the Carolinas.

Dwight Williams, who lives across the street from Thomas, wasn't taking any chances - he and his wife were packing to evacuate.

"Due to the mishaps from last year with Irma, I thought I was prepared but it turns out I needed a little more sandbags this year so I'm just trying to be safe", said Collop. So Michael might even veer back into the Atlantic farther south than Virginia - more like around North Carolina.

Marion County Public Schools will be open Wednesday, and no evacuation shelters have been open.

"The time to evacuate has come and gone".

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The "forecast cone" for Michael (the storm's projected path) stretches from Florida all the way north to New Jersey.

Forecasters on Wednesday morning upgraded Hurricane Michael to an "extremely risky Category 4" storm.

Michael would be just the fourth major hurricane - Category 3, 4 or 5 - to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle since 1950, joining Eloise (1975), Opal (1995) and Dennis (2005).

He also stressed the risk of flash flooding and tornadoes in the Florida Panhandle.

Duke Energy is estimating Michael could cause between 100,000 and 200,000 power outages across the state.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for 92 counties in his state.

Florida State University said its campuses in Tallahassee and Panama City will be closed from Tuesday to Friday.

A mound of water piles up below the eye which is unleashed as the storm reaches land.

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