'Most destructive storm to hit the Florida panhandle in decades'

'Most destructive storm to hit the Florida panhandle in decades'

'Most destructive storm to hit the Florida panhandle in decades'

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.

"Every family must be prepared".

"We don't know if it's going to wipe out our house or not", Jason McDonald, of Panama City, said as he and his wife drove north to safety into Alabama with their two children, ages 5 and 7.

- Michael roared down on the Florida Panhandle strengthening into a Category 4 hurricane early Wednesday before it crashes against the region's white-sand beaches, fishing villages and coastal communities later in the day.

A short new video from the space station shows a swirling Michael moving northwest at 12 miles an hour.

Michael was forecast to have the power to uproot trees, block roads and knock out power for days by the time it hits Florida on Wednesday.

Waves crash against the Malecon, triggered by the outer bands of Hurricane Michael, as tourists drive past in a classic American auto in Havana, Cuba. The NHC said the storm was packing sustained winds of up to 120 miles per hour (195 km per hour), jumping from a Category 2 to Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale. Up to four inches (10 centimeters) were expected to fall through Tuesday.

Late Monday, residents of far western Cuba were forecast to get up to eight inches of rain.

"This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides", the NHC warned.

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President Donald Trump said federal emergency officials are standing by to help with recovery efforts.

"Can you believe it? It looks like another big one", he said.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely unsafe", Scott said Sunday after receiving a briefing at the State Emergency Operations Center.

"We're a bit inland and out of the fray", said Stogner, adding that he still expected high winds to pummel the city.

Hurricane-force winds extend about 40 miles from the center, with tropical storm-force winds reaching 185 miles, Graham said.

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

The Carolinas are still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which left dozens dead and is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in damage last month.

Michael is poised to make landfall on the Panhandle later Wednesday while pushing up to 13 feet of ocean water into the coast and drenching parts of three states in as much as a foot of rain.

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