These maps shed light on when and where Hurricane Michael will hit

12z European model forecast for Hurricane Michael's position at 2pm ET on Wednesday

Enlarge 12z European model forecast for Hurricane Michael's position at 2pm ET

As Hurricane Michael continues to churn it's way toward the Florida Panhandle Tuesday (10/9) tens of thousands of people potentially in harm's way have been ordered to heed warnings of possible severe coastal flooding.

"My expectation is if you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient. Take care of them", he said. It's as simple as that.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely risky", Scott said on Sunday.

"Folks are ready from the government side, but we need our citizens to also be ready", said Gillum.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for governor, said his city's utility has called in "six times" its normal staffing through mutual-aid agreements with other utilities.

"Hurricane Michael poses a deadly threat".

Forecasters say some regions may see 12in (30cm) of rain, and storm surges of up to 12ft (3.6m).

Residents of the USA state of Florida are boarding up homes and seeking evacuation routes away from Hurricane Michael, forecast to slam ashore midweek with life-threatening waves, winds and rains. Storms with winds of at least 111 miles per hour are designated as "major" hurricanes.

Michael could also dump up to a foot of rain over some panhandle communities before it sweeps through the Southeast and goes out to sea over the next few days. Tropical storm watches are in effect in some coastal areas of Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and SC. "We're going to get storm surge, we have wind, we have a chance of flooding, we have a significant chance of tornadoes".

The NHC has issued numerous hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge warnings for Florida and its neighboring states of Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama.

Michael also wreaked havoc in the Caribbean. It strengthened to a Category 3 storm late Tuesday afternoon. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (56 kilometers) from the storm's center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (282 kilometers).

The storm was located about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Cuba's western tip and 520 miles (837 kilometers) south of Apalachicola, Florida. Power outages are likely if winds are strong enough to bring down wet branches and trees in waterlogged soil.

A storm surge warning is in effect for Okaloosa/Walton County Line in Florida to Anclote River in Florida.

Meanwhile, Surfline is offering several live streams of beaches in Florida that may be impacted, including Twin Piers in Manatee County, Anna Maria Island beach, Panama City Beach, and the Venice Beach jetties.

"Hurricane Michael is a massive storm that could bring total devastation to parts of our state, especially in the Panhandle", Scott said.

"I've been talking to mayors, to county commissioners, I think people are taking this serious", Scott said.

The governor has declared states of emergency for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy, Citrus, Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Alachua, Union, Bradford and Baker counties.

Life-threatening storm surge is forecast along portions of the Florida Gulf Coast regardless of the storm's exact track or intensity.

In Gulf County alone, the first to begin ordering residents of low-lying areas to higher ground, mandatory evacuation notices encompassed an estimated 3,800 homes, said Jessica Sasich of the county's emergency operations centre.

As of 2 p.m. EDT, Michael had winds of 110 miles per hour (175 kph), just below a Category 3 hurricane, and was getting stronger, drawing energy from Gulf waters in the mid-80s. Exxon said it did not expect the staff reduction to affect output. Areas closer to the beach will experience the strongest winds, which will turn trees and other loose items into unsafe projectiles.

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