Hurricane Michael: ‘Monstrous’ storm strengthens to category two

Fallen electrical poles block a road in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City Florida US

Michael threatens to become the most the most intense hurricane to hit the Florida panhandle since 1851, according to Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University.

Drawing energy from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the storm strengthened rapidly into a potentially devastating Category 3 by evening.

Florida officials said roughly 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast had been urged or ordered to evacuate.

Mr Rick Scott told a news conference on Tuesday: "Hurricane Michael is a monster storm and it keeps getting more risky".

"No one's going to survive" such a wall of water, he said. Florida Governor Rick Scott has warned residents to evacuate.

As of 8 a.m., Michael was a Category 4 storm with winds of 145 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reported. He said Michael "absolutely is a concern for me". "This might be really bad and serious".

Because of the storm's potential power, mandatory evacuation orders are already underway for an estimated 12,000 people, including those living in Panama City Beach and other low-lying parts of the coast.

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The National Hurricane Center issued a storm surge watch for the Bay area in anticipation of 1-3 feet surge above normal levels.

Michael could dump up to a foot (30 centimeters) of rain over some Panhandle communities before its remnants go back out to sea by way of the mid-Atlantic states over the next few days.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Florida's Democratic nominee for governor, helped people fill sandbags.

While most homes around him are vacation rentals or summer getaways for their owners, Sadousky had stayed put through more than four decades of storms.

On the forecast track, Michael was expected to pass northeast through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia on Wednesday Thursday as a tropical storm.

Disaster agencies in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua reported 13 deaths as roofs collapsed and residents were carried away by swollen rivers.

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