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The Latest: Man killed in Florida home by fallen tree

The Latest: Hurricane Michael's top winds nearly 150 mph

PANAMA CITY, Fla. —

7 p.m.

Authorities say a Florida Panhandle man was killed by a falling tree as Hurricane Michael tore by way of the state.

Gadsden County Sheriff’s Workplace spokeswoman Anglie Hightower says they acquired a name round 6 p.m. Wednesday, saying a tree had crashed by way of the roof of the person’s Greensboro home and trapped him. Emergency crews have been heading to the home, however downed energy strains and blocked roads have been making the journey troublesome.

Officers hadn’t instantly confirmed the person’s identify.

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6:55 p.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says search and rescue groups are heading into the state’s hardest-hit areas to assist survivors of Hurricane Michael.

Scott held a information convention Wednesday night and urged individuals to remain off roads and depart them open to first responders as they start the work of search and rescue – and restoration.

He says flash flooding and tornadoes are nonetheless potential, and says officers have heard studies of at the least two tornadoes in Florida.

Scott stated a minimum of 192,000 houses and companies are with out energy, however vowed “a massive wave of response” with hundreds of utility personnel fanning out to revive energy, together with medical groups, regulation enforcement personnel and the search and rescue squads.

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6:55 p.m.

Greater than 32,000 houses and companies in Georgia have been with out energy Wednesday night as elements of the state have been starting to really feel the influence from Hurricane Michael.

The Atlanta Journal-Structure studies Georgia Energy stated round four:30 p.m. that 17,580 clients had misplaced energy. Georgia EMC stated that about 15,376 of its clients have been additionally with out energy.

For Georgia EMC, most of its affected clients have been in 5 counties in southwest Georgia, the place greater than 13,500 clients have been with out energy. In metro Atlanta, simply 17 clients have been with out energy.

In an e mail, an EMC spokesperson stated winds had induced timber to fall onto energy strains, prompting the outages.

As of Wednesday night, Hurricane Michael was a Class three storm. It made landfall in Florida as a Class four storm round 1:40 p.m.

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6:20 p.m.

The Nationwide Hurricane Middle says Michael’s eye has crossed from the Florida Panhandle into southwestern Georgia as a harmful Class three storm, the strongest to hit that a part of the state in recorded historical past.

Most sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph) have been recorded in Seminole County, Georgia, Wednesday night. The storm made landfall close to Mexico Seashore, Florida, as a catastrophic Class four hurricane earlier Wednesday afternoon.

In line with a 6 p.m. advisory, the storm was situated 20 miles (32 kilometers) west-northwest of Bainbridge, Georgia, and 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Albany, Georgia. It was shifting north-northeast at 13 mph (21 kph).

Harmful storm surge continues alongside the coast of the Florida Panhandle.

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5:55 p.m.

Hurricane Michael downed timber and energy strains because it started its push inland.

The Nationwide Hurricane Middle stated the core of Hurricane Michael will push by way of southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia Wednesday night.

The Houston County Emergency Administration Company in Alabama informed individuals to remain off the roads.

“Trees are down, blocking roads, some roads are flooded and blocked. It is NOT safe to be on the road at this time!” the company tweeted.

The Alabama Emergency Administration Company stated that nearly three,000 individuals have been with out energy in the state as of shortly after three p.m.

Some southeastern Alabama cities and counties instituted obligatory curfews to attempt to hold individuals at home.

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5:55 p.m.

Louisiana is sending dozens of emergency personnel, together with boats, ambulances and different gear to Florida to assist with the response to Hurricane Michael.

The state emergency preparedness workplace introduced the help Wednesday, shortly earlier than the storm roared ashore.

The emergency staff embrace ambulance groups coordinated by the Louisiana well being division, search-and-rescue staff from the hearth marshal’s workplace, firefighters, medics and a helicopter workforce from the Louisiana Nationwide Guard. The help, for which Louisiana can be reimbursed, is coordinated via the Emergency Administration Help Compact system.

In the meantime, Entergy says its Louisiana subsidiaries are sending 170 staff and contractors to assist Florida restore energy misplaced as a result of Michael.

Florida’s state authorities reviews says there are no less than 191,000 houses and companies with out energy due to the storm.

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5:30 p.m.

The Nationwide Hurricane Middle says Michael has misplaced some energy, however it stays a harmful Class three storm because it approaches an space the place Florida, Alabama and Georgia meet.

Most sustained winds of 125 mph (200 kph) continued to batter the Florida Panhandle, with hurricane-force winds extending outward as much as 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the middle.

It made landfall close to Mexico Seashore, Florida, as a catastrophic Class four hurricane earlier Wednesday afternoon.

In response to a 5 p.m. advisory, the storm was situated 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Bainbridge, Georgia, and 70 miles (115 kilometers) southwest of Albany, Georgia. It was shifting north-northeast at 16 mph (26 kph).

Forecasters say storm surge waters are starting to recede, however some usually dry areas close to the coast will proceed to be flooded.

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5:10 p.m.

Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio says he is notably involved concerning the storm blocking Interstate 10, which runs east-west throughout northern Florida by way of Pensacola, Tallahassee and Jacksonville.

Rubio advised CNN on Wednesday that the freeway can be a serious path to deliver in help, and ensuring it is away from particles shall be a precedence.

Rubio says he additionally needs to see energy returned to the affected areas as shortly as attainable. Prior to now, many deaths have occurred in the times after a hurricane, with nursing houses residents being left with out air con or householders being uncovered to carbon monoxide from turbines.

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5:10 p.m.

Tallahassee mayor and Democratic nominee for Florida governor Andrew Gillum says his metropolis is ready and able to assist its neighbors in the area.

Gillum advised CNN throughout a Wednesday interview that, “We’re going to be here for each other.”

Gillum says energy crews are prepared to start assessing injury as quickly because the storm utterly passes. He warned residents to remain inside till they’ve acquired an all-clear from public security officers.

Tallahassee is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northeast of Mexico Seashore, which is close to the place Hurricane Michael made landfall Wednesday afternoon

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5:10 p.m.

One of many nation’s largest state festivals is delaying its begin because the remnants of Hurricane Michael cross via North Carolina.

North Carolina State Truthful supervisor Kent Yelverton stated Wednesday the occasion will not open as deliberate on Thursday. Yelverton says the truthful will as an alternative open Friday morning and run for 10 days as an alternative of 11.

State Agriculture Division spokeswoman Andrea Ashby stated forecasts of heavy rain and excessive winds led to the choice.

Michael got here ashore in Florida on Wednesday as a Class four hurricane. It’s anticipated to pack wind gusts of 35 mph (55 kph) or extra and dump a number of inches of rain in North Carolina.

Ashby stated the fairgrounds will stay closed to most of the people Thursday, although distributors and others with companies to run might be admitted.

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four:20 p.m.

A Purple Cross official says it is potential that as many as 320,000 individuals on Florida’s Gulf Coast didn’t evacuate and are doubtless driving out the storm.

Evacuation orders have been despatched by state and native officers to about 325,000 individuals. Emergency managers say they do not know what number of left the world, however there have been about 6,000 individuals in 80 shelters in 5 states, together with almost 1,200 who’re nonetheless in shelters following Hurricane Florence.

Michael went from a tropical storm to a projected Class three hurricane in round six hours and will have caught hundreds off guard.

Brad Kieserman is the Vice President of Operations and Logistics for the American Purple Cross. He says the storm “intensified extremely quickly and didn’t give anyone enough time to do much.”

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three:30 p.m.

The director of the Nationwide Hurricane Middle says Michael goes to maintain its power even because it strikes into Alabama and Georgia.

By three p.m. EDT, Michael nonetheless had prime sustained winds of 150 mph (240 kph) as its core moved over Florida’s Panhandle.

Michael made landfall close to Mexico Seashore, Florida, earlier Wednesday afternoon with 155 mph (250 kph) winds.

Hurricane middle director Ken Graham says that when a storm comes ashore with winds that robust, “it’s going to stay a hurricane for a while.”

Michael’s giant measurement means its winds will proceed pushing storm surge inland as nicely. The hurricane middle stated a Nationwide Ocean Service water degree station in Apalachicola has reported storm surge of almost eight ft (2.5 meters) above floor.

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three:05 p.m.

Officers in South Carolina say they’re extra involved about tornadoes than flooding from Hurricane Michael.

The Nationwide Climate Service says tornadoes are potential throughout the Florida Panhandle, southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina by means of Thursday morning as Michael strikes inland.

Beaufort County Emergency Administration Division Commander Neil Baxley says the tornadoes can spin up quick with little warning in the rainbands of the weakening hurricane.

South Carolina noticed 47 tornadoes in two days in 2004 as Tropical Storm Frances transfer north from the Florida Panhandle.

Baxley says the 1-to-2-foot (zero.three to zero.6 meter) storm surge predicted for areas like Hilton Head Island is not even sufficient to set off a warning.

Together with tornadoes, forecasters are warning of flash flooding from heavy rain and timber and energy strains knocked down by gusty winds.

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three p.m.

Authorities say lifeguards needed to save three youngsters who have been enjoying in the ocean at a South Carolina seashore as Hurricane Michael approached.

Beaufort County Emergency Administration Division Commander Neil Baxley stated a 15-year-old and two 9-year-olds have been on boogie boards off Hilton Head Island round 12:15 p.m. Wednesday when the waves shortly began to tug them from shore.

Baxley says rescuers have been capable of make it to the youngsters and convey them to security.

Baxley stated at a information convention there isn’t any purpose to be in the ocean Wednesday.

Beaufort County is beneath a tropical storm warning as Michael makes landfall about 325 miles (520 kilometers) southwest in the Florida Panhandle.

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2:10 p.m.

Native information reporters have been working in the darkish as Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida’s Panhandle.

The Information Herald in Panama Metropolis tweeted that circumstances have been “getting very nasty here” because the hurricane’s eye closed in. The newsroom was operating on generator energy with out web entry.

The newspaper tweeted that reporters have been feeling “crashing thunder shaking building.”

On the Panama Metropolis information station WJHG/WECP, reporter Tyler Allender tweeted that his colleagues have been taking shelter in a hallway in the center of the constructing as a result of “this wind is SERIOUS.”

Allender stated they have been sitting in the darkish as a result of their constructing had misplaced energy.

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1:45 p.m.

The Nationwide Hurricane Middle says Michael is making landfall close to Mexico Seashore, Florida, as a catastrophic Class four Hurricane, pushing a lethal storm surge and whipping the coast with 155 mph (250 kph) winds.

Forecasters mark landfall because the place and time when the middle of the attention strikes land. Minutes earlier, Michael’s eyewall got here ashore between Panama Metropolis and St. Vincent Island, and the hurricane middle warned everybody contained in the relative calm of the attention to not enterprise outdoors.

Hurricane-force winds prolonged outward as much as 45 miles (75 km) from the middle.

These winds have been tearing some buildings aside in Panama Metropolis Seashore. One beachfront construction beneath development might be seen collapsing, and metallic roofing materials flew sideways throughout parking tons amid sheets of rain.

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1 p.m.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal stated Hurricane Michael is “unlike any storm that we have had in anybody’s memory.”

He says this one will inflict critical injury throughout central and southern Georgia, and he is calling on individuals to guard themselves, their households, and anybody who wants help.

Greater than 1,200 evacuees are staying in Georgia state parks, that are waiving entrance charges for these in search of shelter.

The storm additionally is predicted to ravage the state’s peanut, pecan and cotton crops.

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12:50 p.m.

U.S. Federal Emergency Administration Company Administrator Brock Lengthy stated Michael is “a hurricane of the worst kind.”

He stated there are about three,000 FEMA staff in the sector, plus plane and search and rescue groups staged to maneuver into Florida and Georgia as properly.

“The citizens in Georgia need to wake up and pay attention,” Lengthy stated. He says this hurricane will doubtless be the worst storm that anybody in southwest and central Georgia could have seen in many years.

Lengthy applauded native officers who urged evacuations, and stated “people are going to die as a result of not heeding the warnings.”

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12:15 p.m.

Hundreds of individuals alongside Florida’s northern Gulf Coast have heeded warnings to evacuate, and lots of are cramming into excessive faculties put to make use of as shelters.

Diane Farris and her son Waine Corridor walked to the shelter nearest their home in Panama Metropolis, Rutherford Excessive Faculty, and located about 1,100 individuals crammed into an area meant for about half as many.

She says the cafeteria and health club are full in order that they’re placing individuals in the hallways and and virtually each room.

And she or he says extra individuals are coming each minute.

Farris says she’s terrified about predictions of “the big one” and determined to know the place her relations are.

One other shelter resident, Michigan native Pamela Cowley, says she’s nervous as a result of individuals are saying they might go weeks with out electrical energy.

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Midday:

Hurricane Michael will weaken as soon as its core hits land and stops drawing power from the nice and cozy waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

However forecasters say it will not dissipate shortly. In reality, Michael is predicted to whip elements of Alabama and Georgia with hurricane-force winds because it travels north.

The Nationwide Hurricane Middle expects Michael to carry tropical storm power by means of Thursday because it crosses the Carolinas.

Forecasters say Michael ought to re-emerge over the Atlantic Ocean on Friday and regain some power because it strikes away from the U.S. coast.

Tropical storm warnings and a storm-surge watch have been prolonged Wednesday morning to North Carolina’s barrier islands.

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11:45 a.m.

Hurricane Michael continues to be getting stronger because it closes in on Florida’s Gulf Coast, with prime winds rising to just about 150 mph (240 kph).

The Nationwide Hurricane Middle says knowledge from an Air Pressure Reserve Hurricane Hunter plane signifies that the minimal strain inside the attention of the hurricane continues to be dropping, right down to 923 millibars.

Hurricane Michael’s middle is now lower than 50 miles off the coast, with hurricane-force gusts reaching the shore.

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11:25 a.m.

Hurricane Michael is not the one storm gaining power in the tropics.

Luckily, the Nationwide Hurricane Middle says the opposite two tropical climate techniques over the Atlantic Ocean are not any menace to land.

At 11 a.m. EDT, Hurricane Leslie had prime sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) about 1,130 miles (1,820 kilometers) southwest of the Azores. And Tropical Storm Nadine had prime sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph) about 505 miles (815 kilometers) off the Cabo Verde Islands.

In the meantime, authorities have issued a tropical storm look ahead to a stretch of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, the place Tropical Storm Sergio is forecast to reach later this week. The Hurricane Middle says the storm threatens heavy rainfall in northwestern Mexico after which the U.S. Southern Plains and the Ozarks over the weekend.

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11:15 a.m.

The Nationwide Hurricane Middle says Hurricane Michael seems “extremely impressive” in satellite tv for pc imagery because the storm barrels towards Florida’s Panhandle.

At 11 a.m. EDT, Michael had prime sustained winds of 145 mph (230 kph) and was about 60 miles (95 kilometers) offshore, shifting north-northeast towards Panama Metropolis at 14 mph (22 kph).

Senior Hurricane Specialist Dan Brown stated in a forecast dialogue that Michael nonetheless had a number of extra hours to strengthen over the nice and cozy waters of the Gulf of Mexico earlier than it makes landfall Wednesday afternoon.

Brown stated Michael additionally will deliver hurricane-force winds nicely inland over Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

Wind gusts of 46 mph (74 kph) have already got been felt in Florida’s capital metropolis of Tallahassee, a pair dozen miles (40 kilometers) from the coast.

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10:50 a.m.

North Carolina’s governor has declared a state of emergency forward of Hurricane Michael.

The storm’s path is forecast to run by way of the state the place many are nonetheless reeling after final month’s Hurricane Florence.

Gov. Roy Cooper says he is referred to as up 150 Nationwide Guard troops and lifted restrictions on vans that would ship provides to the state.

Officers have stated that Michael is not anticipated to trigger the identical sort of river flooding as Florence. However Cooper stated that Michael might convey as much as 7 inches of rain to elements of the state, which might trigger flash-flooding. He urged individuals in flood-prone areas to observe forecasts and heed any evacuation orders.

Cooper stated tropical storm-force winds will possible arrive in a single day into Thursday, and that the wind and rain might additional injury tarped homes the place individuals are working to rebuild.

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10:30 a.m.

The storm surge from Hurricane Michael has come ashore and is rising deeper.

In line with a Nationwide Hurricane Middle replace, a Nationwide Ocean Service water degree station at Apalachicola reported over four ft (1 meter) of inundation above floor degree by mid-morning Wednesday. Forecasters have stated the hurricane might push as much as 14 ft (four meters) of ocean water ashore in Apalachicola, surging over regular tides.

Waves are already gnawing away on the base of sand dunes at Panama Metropolis Seashore.

Officers are upset that holdouts will quickly be surrounded by water. About 50 individuals resisted evacuating from St. George Island, and two individuals on Canine Island, which is simply accessible by boat, additionally ignored evacuation orders. Franklin County emergency administration coordinator Tress Dameron advised The Information Herald in Panama Metropolis that individuals who stayed higher be sporting their life jackets.

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9:50 a.m.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has ordered 1,500 Nationwide Guard troops on standby, prepared for deployment as wanted as Hurricane Michael blows in. Hurricanes weaken after landfall, however Michael is a catastrophic Class four storm and is predicted to stay a hurricane because it ploughs over Georgia.

Transportation officers are already anticipating gale-force winds by closing the primary bridge over the Savannah River between Savannah and South Carolina. The Georgia Division of Transportation stated the Talmadge Memorial Bridge on U.S. 17 will shut at 9 p.m. Wednesday, as a result of it is going to be too troublesome for motorists to regulate their automobiles in such circumstances.

South Alabama is one other inland space that will not be spared. Alabama’s Geneva County has introduced a curfew starting at eight p.m. Wednesday, and the native emergency administration company has urged individuals to voluntarily evacuate from cellular houses and different locations that could possibly be unstable in the storm’s excessive winds.

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9:30 a.m.

FEMA Director Brock Lengthy says his company has almost three,000 individuals in the sector prepared to help with Hurricane Michael.

He says groups and plane are able to help any search and rescue missions in Florida or elsewhere, and that staging areas with commodities wanted after storms have been arrange in Atlanta and at Maxwell Air Pressure Base in Alabama.

He additionally says the Federal Emergency Administration Company is working “hand-in-hand” with Florida Gov. Rick Scott. He praised Florida’s use on Tuesday night of the wi-fi emergency alert system to let residents know that the storm was getting stronger.

As for the many individuals who ignored orders to evacuate, Lengthy stated Wednesday that folks “who stick around and experience storm surge unfortunately don’t usually live to tell about it.”

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9:25 a.m.

Nationwide Hurricane Middle Director Ken Graham is warning that a Class four hurricane will deliver catastrophic injury to Florida’s Panhandle.

Graham says Michael’s prime winds of 145 mph (230 kph) are highly effective sufficient to peel off roofs and trigger the “complete destruction of houses.”

Stretches of the coast might see storm surge of at the very least 6 ft (2 meters), with waters rising in some locations as much as 14 ft (four meters) above the bottom. Graham needs individuals to consider how tall they’re, and simply how excessive that water could be.

Michael is highly effective sufficient to stay a hurricane nicely inland because it travels over Georgia on Thursday. Graham says falling timber will pull down utility strains, leaving some areas with out energy for weeks, and unsafe circumstances will persist lengthy after the storm blows by means of.

He says the aftermath of a hurricane is “not the time to start learning to use that chain saw.”

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9:15 a.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the influence of Hurricane Michael can be “horrible,” the worst storm to hit the Panhandle in a century.

Scott stated Wednesday he is “scared to death” that folks in locations akin to St. George Island alongside the state’s coast had ignored evacuation orders.

He stated he hopes that nobody stored youngsters with them as they selected to journey it out, however the time to evacuate from coastal areas has “come and gone.”

The governor stated state authorities at the moment are specializing in the restoration effort as soon as the fast-moving storm blows by means of. He has activated up three,500 members of the Florida Nationwide Guard and says hundreds of utility staff are on stand-by.

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9:05 a.m.

Large waves are pounding the shore at Panama Metropolis Seashore, the place officers have introduced they’re now unable to answer any requires service. Simply inland in Panama Metropolis, the hearth division says it is going to reply to solely life-threatening emergencies and solely inside the metropolis limits.

The largest waves are capturing frothy inexperienced water between houses and as much as the bottom of picket stairs over the dunes and the skies seem menacing as tropical-storm-force winds lash the coast. Landfall is predicted about noon Wednesday.

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eight:25 a.m.

Michael is now a Class four hurricane and so highly effective that it’s anticipated to stay a hurricane because it strikes over central Georgia early Thursday. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has issued a state of emergency for 92 of the state’s 159 counties.

A hurricane warning is impact in southwestern Georgia. A tropical storm warning is in impact for the complete Georgia coast, in addition to a lot of the inland areas.

Between four inches (10 centimeters) and eight inches (20 centimeters) of rain are anticipated in southwest and central Georgia. From three inches (eight centimeters) to six inches (15 centimeters) of rain is predicted in different elements of the state.

The Nationwide Climate Service stated winds are anticipated to vary from 25 mph (40 kph) to 45 mph (72 kph) in central Georgia, with gusts as excessive as 70 mph (112 kph).

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eight a.m.

Hurricane Michael is strengthening because it races over the Gulf of Mexico approaching a landfall alongside Florida’s Panhandle.

Forecasters say lethal storm surge, catastrophic wind injury and heavy rainfall are imminent.

The Nationwide Hurricane Middle in Miami says the Class four storm has most sustained winds of 145 mph (230 kph) and is shifting at 13 mph (20 kph).

At eight a.m., Michael was centered about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Panama Metropolis, with tropical storm pressure winds already lashing the coast.

The hurricane middle says Michael would be the first Class four hurricane to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle.

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7:45 a.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is warning individuals in the trail of large Hurricane Michael that it is too late to evacuate.

In a tweet on Wednesday morning, Scott stated “If you chose to state in an evacuation zone, you must SEEK REFUGE IMMEDIATELY.”

Hurricane Michael grew right into a Class four storm in a single day and officers on the Nationwide Hurricane Middle in Miami say a storm that robust has by no means hit the Florida Panhandle.

In the meantime the Bay County Sheriff’s Workplace warned residents that a “shelter-in-place” order has been issued, and urged everybody to remain off the roads. Sheriff’s officers say deputies will proceed to answer requires now, however that may change because the storm approaches the shoreline.

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7:15 a.m.

The Nationwide Hurricane Middle in Miami says Hurricane Michael can be the primary Class four storm to hit Florida’s Panhandle.

In a Fb submit, NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen stated “we are in new territory with now Hurricane Michael and its 130 mph sustained winds.”

Feltgen says Bay County is the doubtless “ground zero” for Hurricane Michael on Wednesday afternoon.

The outer bands of the huge storm are starting to succeed in the Gulf Coast. At 7 a.m. the middle of the storm was about 105 miles (165 kilometers) south-southwest of Panama Metropolis.

A NOAA buoy situated some 90 miles south-southwest of Panama Metropolis recorded sustained winds of 76 mph (122 kmh) early Wednesday. Forecasters additionally stated a wind gust of 54 mph (87 kph) was reported at Apalachicola Regional Airport.

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5:30 a.m.

A number of the worst storm surge from Class four Hurricane Michael is predicted to hit Florida’s Tyndall Air Pressure Base, which has ordered all non-essential personnel to evacuate.

The Nationwide Hurricane Middle’s newest forecast exhibits as a lot as 13 ft of water on prime of the standard waves and tides might inundate the bottom, which is home to greater than 600 households and on an island about 12 miles east of Panama Metropolis.

All base residents have been ordered to go away when Tyndall moved to “HURCON 1” standing because the storm closes in.

The base offered transportation however restricted households to at least one giant piece of bags per household and one carry-on piece per individual.

Tyndall is home to the 325th Fighter Wing.

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5 a.m.

Hurricane Michael is a particularly harmful Class four storm and nonetheless rising stronger because it closes in on the northwest Florida coast.

Stories from an Air Pressure Reserve Hurricane Hunter plane point out that most sustained winds have elevated to close 140 mph (220 kph) with greater gusts.

At 5 a.m., the middle of the hurricane was bearing down on a stretch of the Florida Panhandle, nonetheless about 140 miles (225 kilometers) from Panama Metropolis and 130 miles (209 kilometers) from Apalachicola, however shifting comparatively quick at 13 mph (21 kph). Tropical-storm pressure winds extending 185 miles (295 kilometers) from the middle have been already lashing the coast.

Forecasters are warning of life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic wind injury and heavy rainfall because the hurricane strikes onshore.

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2:10 a.m.

The Nationwide Hurricane Middle says Michael has develop into a particularly harmful Class four storm.

At 2:00 a.m. Wednesday, the attention of Michael was about 180 miles (289 kilometers) south-southwest of Panama Metropolis, Florida. It additionally was about 170 miles (273 kilometers) southwest of Apalachicola, Florida. Hurricane-force winds prolong outward as much as 45 miles (72 kilometers) from the middle and tropical-storm-force winds prolong outward as much as 175 miles (281 kilometers).

Michael was anticipated to grow to be one of many Panhandle’s worst hurricanes in reminiscence with a life-threatening storm surge of as much as 13 ft (four meters).

Florida officers stated roughly 375,000 individuals up and down the Gulf Coast had been urged or ordered to evacuate. Evacuations spanned 22 counties from the Florida Panhandle into north central Florida.

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12:30 a.m.

Hurricane Michael is roaring down on the Florida Panhandle, gaining power so shortly that forecasters anticipate it to develop into a Class four monster as soon as it slams into the white-sand seashores, fishing villages and coastal communities.

The brute storm that sprang from a weekend tropical melancholy gained in fury and measurement simply hours forward of Wednesday’s projected noon landfall, packed 125 mph (200 kph) winds as a harmful Class three storm. Forecasters say it is anticipated to maintain strengthening in the ultimate hours earlier than it crashes ashore as probably one of many worst hurricanes in the area’s historical past.

Florida officers stated roughly 375,000 individuals up and down the Gulf Coast had been urged or ordered to evacuate. Evacuations spanned 22 counties from the Florida Panhandle into north central Florida.

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