Michael forecast to grow into major hurricane

Hurricane Michael seen from space off the coast of Florida

Hurricane Michael seen from space off the coast of Florida

USA Today also reported that storm winds could end up breaking up the red tide and pulling it away from beaches.

While it's likely to weaken as it moves across the southeastern United States, its heavy rains and flooding effects will spread far and wide.

While more than 192,000 homes and businesses were without power, thousands of workers were being deployed to restore power and aid in other recovery efforts, the governor said.

The storm quickly sprang from a weekend tropical depression, reaching Category 4 early Wednesday as it drew energy from the Gulf of Mexico's warm waters. A Category 4 storm has maximum sustained winds of between 130 miles per hour and 156 miles per hour.

"We are in new territory", National Hurricane Centre meteorologist Dennis Feltgen said.

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Hurricane Michael knocked down hundreds of trees on Wednesday in Tallahassee, Florida. Life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall are expected along the northeastern Gulf coast. Up to a foot of rainfall (30 cm) is forecast for some areas. And the Big Bend area of Florida is notorious for high storm surge because of its curved shape.

The region should brace for "major infrastructure damage", specifically to electricity distribution, wastewater treatment systems and transportation networks, Jeff Byard, associate administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), told reporters on a conference call. "Do not try to leave until the storm has passed". Graham said storm surge will inundate the Aucilla River there to a point where it will "flow backward".

"The unsafe hurricane is expected to move northward to north-northeastward and make landfall along the coast of the central panhandle of Florida by late Wednesday afternoon", the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in a 10 p.m. update on October 9.

In Panama City, about 20 miles northwest of Mexico Beach, the power went out at Country Inn Suites.

At a rally in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night, Trump offered his "thoughts and prayers" to those in the path of the storm and said he would be visiting Florida soon.

Perry and Mollie Williams were riding out the storm in their "fortress" home a block from the beach, their three cats and Rottweiler in tow. Tornadoes could spawn in the Southeast Wednesday into Thursday, forecasters said. "We want to get them out of the way". "But never on top of us".

The child's death is the second known storm-related death.

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

He also said he wished more people would have heeded official evacuation orders.

Ken Graham, director of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, said Michael is "unfortunately, a historical and incredibly unsafe and life-threatening situation".

Tallahassee, a city of 200,000, sits 100 miles east of Panama City.

Damage in Panama City was extensive, with broken and uprooted trees and power lines down almost everywhere.

Gale and James Berry fled to a city shelter in Lincoln High School's cafeteria. "It doesn't make landfall any better, but at least you know what to expect and when to expect it".

Michael is nearing a Category 4 hurricane as it approaches landfall along the Florida Panhandle, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Michael has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it continues slamming Georgia with heavy rain and risky winds.

Bacon and Rice reported from Mclean, Va.

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