Hurricane Michael Strengthens to Cat 4 Just Hours Away from US Coast


The Florida Panhandle is bracing itself as Hurricane Michael, which strengthened to Category 4 status in the overnight hours, is barreling its way to the coast.

The massive storm is packing top sustained winds of 145 mph and is expected to make landfall Wednesday afternoon around 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

A statement from the National Hurricane Center calls Michael a “life-threatening” storm. CBS News estimatesnearly 30 million people are expected to feel the impact of Michael in the Southeast.

The most worrisome feature of Michael is the expected storm surge, which could rise as much as 14 feet in some areas. “The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline,” the National Hurricane Center warned.

Some parts of the Florida Panhandle can expect to receive up to a foot of rain as well as hurricane-force winds.

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Weather Underground reports that if Michael makes landfall with top winds of at least 130 mph, it will be the strongest hurricane ever recorded to hit the Florida Panhandle.

Some residents are now being told to now stay put as the hurricane moves close to the coast.

“A Shelter-in-Place order has been issued. Please stay off the roads,” the Bay County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet early Wednesday morning. “The Bay County Sheriff’s Office will continue to respond to calls for service at this time, but that will soon change due to dangerous winds. Please continue to monitor local news for updates.”

Do you think this will be a catastrophic storm?

Florida Gov. Rick Scott told people in the area that the time for evacuating has passed.

“The time for evacuating along the coast has come and gone,” Scott wrote on Twitter. “First responders will not be able to come out in the middle of the storm. If you chose to stay in an evacuation zone, you must SEEK REFUGE IMMEDIATELY.”

In an interview Wednesday on “CBS This Morning,” Scott was asked about his tweet and what a resident who was in the process of trying to evacuate is supposed to do.

Scott replied, “You’ve waited too long.”

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“You’ve got to hunker down,” he added, “You’ve got to get to shelter as quickly as you can. This thing is coming.”

On Twitter, Scott reassured Floridians in the path of the storm that assistance would be made available after the storm passes.

“As soon as Michael passes, we have a massive wave of response and support coming down and around the Panhandle, including more than 1,000 search and rescue personnel and 3,000 @FLGuard troops,” he said.

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Steven is a former writer for The Western Journal and has written hundreds of stories for both Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He is a follower of Jesus, husband to an amazing wife and father to two beautiful girls.
Steven is a former writer for the Western Journal and has written dozens of stories for both Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. Steven is a native of Louisiana but has transferred to a remote desert land often referred to as Arizona. He has a beautiful wife and two amazing daughters. You can often find him hiking the Arizona landscape or serving on the worship team at his church.
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