Hurricane Michael opened its bombardment of the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday morning, with wind and rain beginning to batter the coastline hours before the strengthening Category 4 storm was expected to make landfall with astonishing power.
The authorities warned that it was too late to flee the storm, which the National Hurricane Center described as “potentially catastrophic” with maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour.
“This is the worst storm that our Florida Panhandle has seen in a century,” Gov. Rick Scott of Florida warned. “Hurricane Michael is upon us, and now is the time to seek refuge.”
Here’s the latest:
• The hurricane is expected to be the strongest recorded storm to make landfall on the Panhandle. “This will be a catastrophic event the likes of which this region has never seen,” the National Weather Service office in Tallahassee, Fla., warned.
• The storm was about 90 miles south-southwest of Panama City, Fla., as of 8 a.m., moving toward the coast at 13 m.p.h., according to the National Hurricane Center. Click on the map below to see the storm’s projected path.
Where Is Hurricane Michael? Tracking the Storm’s Path
The storm was approaching Florida on Wednesday morning.
• The eye of Michael is expected to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday afternoon, tracking northeast across Georgia and the Carolinas on Thursday before moving off the Mid-Atlantic coast on Friday.
• Weather forecasters and government officials are particularly worried about a storm surge, which they said could reach 13 feet in some areas, in a relatively flat region that is particularly vulnerable to it….
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