Hurricane Michael now ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Category 4 storm hours before landfall

Hurricane Michael made its way through the Gulf of Mexico Monday

Forecasters on Wednesday morning upgraded Hurricane Michael to an "extremely risky Category 4" storm.

Beyond Florida, forecasters predict Michael will bring hurricane force winds and heavy rains across portions of Alabama and Georgia.

"If you're under an evacuation order, listen to it", Gov. Rick Scott urged Tuesday.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) delivered a troubling forecast of his own, saying there will be fatal consequences if people try to go out unprotected.

The storm was about 220 kilometres east-northwest of Cozumel, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of winds of 120 kilometres per hour, forecasters said. I thought it was going to come apart it was so bad.

The National Hurricane Center said Michael is the first major storm to hit the Florida Panhandle since Hurricane Dennis in 2005.

The storm's winds have increased to about 130 miles per hour with higher gusts, the National Hurricane Center said.

The center is located 90 miles south-southwest of Panama City and 90 miles southwest of Apalachicola.

A red flag, warning of risky conditions, is seen in advance of Hurricane Michael in Pensacola, Florida.

"This is a storm that is going to be life-threatening in several ways", said Bo Patterson, the mayor of Port St. Joe, Florida, whose small beachfront town lies directly in the storm's projected path. Michael was forecast to push through warm, relatively shallow Gulf of Mexico waters before moving inland over the northern Gulf coast of Florida.

We do have a chance for severe weather with any squall that moves through and an isolated tornado can not be ruled out. Some rested their heads on wooden desks or curled up in sleeping bags on linoleum floors, while others passed the time playing cards, reading paperbacks or monitoring the hurricane on their cellphones.

"Due to the mishaps from last year with Irma, I thought I was prepared but it turns out I needed a little more sandbags this year so I'm just trying to be safe", said Collop.

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 some areas of the Florida coast could expect storm surges of nine to 13 feet and as much as a foot of rain.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told residents: "I know people are worn out from Florence, but don't let this storm catch you with your guard down".

Waves crash against the Malecon, triggered by the outer bands of Hurricane Michael, as tourists drive past in a classic American vehicle in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018.

"This building just shook, I mean I was scared". All told, over 100 counties throughout multiple states have received emergency declarations, and this CNN clip shows the storm's frightening approach on radar.

"If you live along the coast and were told to evacuate...this is YOUR LAST CHANCE".

Scott extended a state of emergency to 35 counties and activated 2,500 National Guardsmen. Weakening is expected after the storm makes landfall. Power outages will be widespread and freshwater and seawater flooding will both occur in this storm.

Waves crash along a pier as the outer bands of Hurricane Michael arrive on October 10, 2018 in Panama City Beach, Fla.

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