Barrelling in with 145 mph winds and generating reports of 31-foot waves, an “extremely dangerous” Hurricane Michael was upgraded to a Category 4 storm Wednesday and continued strengthening into what could be the most powerful storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in 100 years, forecasters said.
As Hurricane Michael prepares to make landfall in just a few hours, the storm is taking a hard turn to the east, so areas like Jacksonville, Saint Augustine and other areas could see some hard rain and very high winds. Hurricane Michael is slated to also affect areas as far north as the Carolinas.
13 people are already dead from this storm as it traveled up from South America, and a full Shelter-in-Place order is in effect for the entire Florida Panhandle. Please pray for any and all people in the path of this rapidly-escalating storm.
FROM FOX NEWS: Hurricane Michael was churning about 80 miles south-southwest of Panama City, Fla. and moving north at 13 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its 9 a.m. ET advisory. The storm is expected to roar onto shore between Panama City Beach and Apalachicola between 1 to 2 p.m. ET, according to Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean.
NOAA Buoy 42039 located 150 miles SSE of Pensacola showing 31 foot wave heights at 4am CDT. Buoy is located at 28.8N/86.0W. #Michael is located just to the southwest (28.3N/86.5W).
— NWS Southern Region (@NWS_Southern_US) October 10, 2018
“Hurricane Michael is a dangerous, catastrophic life-threatening storm,” Dean said Wednesday. “The panhandle of Florida has never had a Cat 4 landfall in their history, and Michael could go down as the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. in the month of October.”
The Florida Panhandle could see storm surges of up to 13 feet and flash-flooding from heavy rainfall, the NHC said. The chance of tornadoes will also increase Wednesday in parts of the Panhandle, the northern Florida Peninsula and southern Georgia.
Early Wednesday, the National Weather Service said a NOAA buoy located 150 miles south-southeast of Pensacola was showing 31-foot wave heights at 5 a.m. ET.
A Shelter-in-Place order has been issued. Please stay off the roads. 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.
— Bay County Sheriff (@BayCountySO) October 10, 2018
The storm, which formed off the coast of northern Honduras, has already killed at least 13 people in Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Torrential rains triggered flash-flooding and landslides in Central America over the weekend.
The National Weather Service office in Tallahassee called the storm “a potentially catastrophic event” that may leave some locations “uninhabitable for weeks or months.” READ MORE