Watch Hurricane Michael make landfall on Florida webcams

Michael, A Threat to Maine?

Only three major hurricanes Category 3 or higher have struck the Panhandle since 1950: Eloise in 1975, Opal in 1995 and Dennis in 2005.

Scott said some counties told him residents had resisted evacuating despite increasing warnings. He declared a state of emergency in 35 counties.

At least 13 people have reportedly died in Central America due to the storm.

Scott warned about the "unimaginable devastation" that could spread across the coastal regions, warning residents to take the storm's destructive capabilities seriously.

The size of hurricanes is mainly measured by the Saffir-Simpson scale - other scales are used in Asia Pacific and Australia.

Panama City Beach fire department chief Larry Couch said: "If they decide to stay, there will be a point where we can't get to them".

Hurricane Michael has grown into a Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds reaching 130 miles per hour, as it barrels toward northwestern Florida, making it a much stronger storm than Hurricane Florence was when it made landfall as a Category 1 storm drenching the Carolinas last month, according to the National Hurricane Center. Then it is forecast to lash the southeastern United States through Thursday.

More than 45 per cent of the nation's refining capacity is located along the US Gulf Coast, which also is home to 51 per cent of total US natural gas processing capability.

The storm appeared to be so powerful - with a central pressure dropping to 933 millibars - that it was expected to remain a hurricane as it moves over central Georgia early Thursday, and unleash damaging winds all the way into the Carolinas.

"For everyone thinking they can ride this storm out, I have news for you: that will be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your life".

Peaton says he is working closely with the National Weather Service to provide accurate information and protective measures to his county, which faces the Gulf of Mexico and is especially vulnerable to any flooding produced by Michael.

Erdogan adviser Aktay says missing Saudi journalist killed in Istanbul consulate
When asked if Mr Khashoggi faced charges in Saudi Arabia, the crown prince said his country would need to know where he was first. We initially thought Jamal Khashoggi was kept at the guest house [at the consulate] and that he was taken out afterwards.

The intensifying storm - Hurricane Michael - was expected to make landfall today with conditions deteriorating last night.

Michael will weaken over land but could still spin off tornadoes and dump rain along a northeasterly path over Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia before its remnants head out to sea again.

President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday: "We are very well prepared for the incoming hurricane".

Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned it was a "monstrous hurricane", and his Democratic opponent for the Senate, Sen.

The latest storm surge map shows that some areas could experience 9 to 12 feet of storm surge.

"No one's going to survive" such a wall of water, he said.

"It's going to be a very catastrophic storm", WJZ's Bob Turk said.

Neighbors in Alabama - the entire state is under an emergency declaration - also were bracing.

The effects of Hurricane Michael may cause residential areas to become uninhabitable for weeks or possibly even months.

Hurricane Michael has already begun lashing northwestern Florida, and Long warned about the "devastating storm surge" that would likely push through that region along with punishing winds.

Offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have evacuated workers, halting almost a fifth of daily production.

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