The Latest: Hurricane Michael at Category 4 approaching Florida


ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Michael (all times local):

8:25 a.m.

Michael is now a Category 4 hurricane and so powerful that it is expected to remain a hurricane as it moves 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 effect in southwestern Georgia. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the entire Georgia coast, as well as much of the inland areas.

Between 4 and 8 inches of rain are expected in southwest and central Georgia.

The National Weather Service said winds are expected to range from 25 mph to 45 mph in central Georgia, with gusts as high as 70 mph.

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8 a.m.

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

Forecasters say deadly storm surge, catastrophic wind damage and heavy rainfall are imminent.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the Category 4 storm has maximum sustained winds of 145 mph and is moving at 13 mph.

At 8 a.m., Michael was centered about 90 miles southwest of Panama City, with tropical storm force winds already lashing the coast.

The hurricane center says Michael will be the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle.

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7:45 a.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is warning people in the path of massive Hurricane Michael that it’s too late to evacuate.

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

Hurricane Michael grew into a Category 4 storm overnight and officials at the National Hurricane Center in Miami say a storm that strong has never hit the Florida Panhandle.

Meanwhile the Bay County Sheriff’s Office warned residents that a “shelter-in-place” order has been issued, and urged everyone to stay …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

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