Hurricane Michael Strengthens to 'Extremely Dangerous' Category 4 as It Heads to Florida

Hurricane Michael is set to make landfall in Florida in the next few hours. Residents who are considering leaving are encouraged to do so as early as possible.

Residents in Florida are scrambling to prepare for the imminent landfall of Hurricane Michael.

Described as ‘monstorous’ and ‘life-threatening’ the Category 4 storm is just hours away from hitting the coast of Florida. 

Residents in Florida and neighboring states have been told to leave their homes ahead of the devastating weather. "You cannot hide from storm surge," Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned at a news conference Tuesday. "We can rebuild your house, but we cannot rebuild your life." 

Millions of residents on alert

More than 375,000 people are reportedly under either mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders across the southern state of Florida. A further 3.7 million people are under hurricane warnings along the Florida coast areas as well as in parts of southeastern Alabama and southern Georgia. 

Residents who are considering leaving are encouraged to do so as early as possible. Supermarket shelves and gas stations have experienced huge lines and basic supplies are already running low in the area.

Supplies run low as panic sets in

Residents are buying up water, gas and food supplies to see them through the worst. Power is expected to go out across the state and water supplies are also expected to be scarce. 

State officials are taking steps to prepare as best as possible adding storm covers to government buildings and activating 2,500 national guardsmen to be on the alert. The storm is expected to bring with it howling winds over 200 kmh, torrential rain, and substantial flooding. 

Meteorologists warn about the seriousness of storm

Hurricaene Michael is expected to be ‘extremely dangerous’ by meteorologists. It will be only the fourth Category 4 storm to have hit the ‘panhandle’ since 1950: Eloise in 1975, Opal in 1995 and Dennis in 2005. 

A pre-landfall emergency declaration to provide federal money has been approved by Republican president Donal Trump. Hurricane Michael is expected to be the strongest hurricane, based on wind speeds, to make landfall in the continental US since Irma in September of last year.

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