Here’s what Florida should expect from Hurricane Michael

Here’s what Florida should expect from Hurricane Michael

The powerful storm was upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane early on Wednesday, and around 500,000 residents were subject to evacuation orders and advisories. Around midday it was expected to become one of the Panhandle's worst hurricanes in memory with heavy rainfall expected along the northeastern Gulf Coast and life-threatening storm surge of up to 13 feet (4 metres).

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in more than 20 counties, and advised Gulf Coast residents to prepare for possible evacuation orders.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) delivered a troubling forecast of his own, saying there will be fatal consequences if people try to go out unprotected. "We've got supplies to last us a week". It had maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour and was moving north at 13 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center expects Michael to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or the state's Big Bend area Wednesday and then weaken as it moves northeast across the southeastern United States on Wednesday night and Thursday.

The sinister-looking skull appeared briefly on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite images on Tuesday as the hurricane moved closer to the Florida Panhandle.

The center is located 90 miles south-southwest of Panama City and 90 miles southwest of Apalachicola.

Unprecedented? This could be the first time a 4 or stronger hurricane has ever made landfall in the Florida panhandle, per TWC.

"Families should take the opportunity today to make sure they have three days of food and water, as well as all needed medications", Governor Scott wrote on Twitter.

Some 120,000 people people have been warned to evacuate along Florida's coast, where schools and state offices are to remain shut this week.

On the exposed coast of Florida's Big Bend, most of the waterfront homes stood vacant in Keaton Beach, which could get some of the highest water - seas up 9 feet (2.75 meters) above ground level.

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Tyler and Heather Butler said they didn't realize the storm would be serious until Monday, and chose to hunker down at their Georgette Street home, just two miles from the beach.

Lifeguards patrol the beach in advance of Hurricane Michael in Pensacola, Florida. The worst storm surge is expected to occur between Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Florida, and Keaton Beach, Florida, and it could be up to 13 feet if it occurs at the same time as high tide.

"Major hurricanes cause large losses of life and the most amount of destruction that hurricanes can bring forward", he said.

Justin Davis, left, and Brock Mclean board up a business in advance of Hurricane Michael in Destin, Florida.

"I feel like that they should've provided something", she said.

Michael underwent a period of "rapid intensification" on Sunday and Monday, its winds strengthening by more than 35 miles per hour.

"The time to evacuate has come and gone ..."

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.

Waves crash along a pier as the outer bands of Hurricane Michael arrive on October 10, 2018 in Panama City Beach, Fla.

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