Hurricane Michael To Slam Panhandle, Big Bend as Cat 4 Storm
Calling the situation "unprecedented" the National Weather Service upgraded Hurricane Michael to a Category 4 early Wednesday morning. It has maximum sustained winds of 140 mph.
Voluntary and mandatory evacuation orders have been issued along coastal areas. There are already reports of flooding in Franklin County and other low-lying areas.
Check local county emergency management information for road and bridge closures in addition to emeegency shelter capacity. Hurricane Michael is expected to come ashore somewhere between Panama City, Apalachicola and Tallahassee with the full force of the storm being felt between noon and this evening and is liklely to be the strongest storm to ever strike the region.
It's expected to make landfall near Mexico Beach in Bay County.
During the 2005-06 storm season Hurricane Dennis struck the area producing a 9 ft. Storm surge. Estimates put the Storm surge for Michael at up to 13 feet. In 1995's Hurricane Opal briefly hit a Category 4 before striking the area as a Category 3 and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in agriculture damage alone from Wakulla County to Escambia and costing $2.1 billion in damage to Florida.
Check back later on for more on this developing story.