The entire Florida Panhandle is under a hurricane warning Tuesday as Hurricane Michael moves north across the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center.
As of 5 a.m. ET, the center of the storm, which became a hurricane on Monday, was located around 390 miles south of Apalachicola, Fl.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect from the Alabalma-Florida border down to the Suwanee River. Hurricane conditions are expected along the Gulf Coast by Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions arriving as early as Tuesday night.
The southeastern coast, from Fernandina Beach, Fl. to Santee River, S.C. is also under a tropical storm watch.
Hurricane Michael is currently moving north-northwest over the southern Gulf of Mexico at 12 m.p.h. It is expected to push inland over the Florida Panhandle or Big Bend area on Wednesday before moving toward the southeastern United States on Wednesday night through Thursday, as the above NHC graphic shows.
Michael has maximum sustained winds of almost 90 m.p.h., with faster occasional gusts. Hurricane-force winds reach out up to 40 miles from the center of the sotmr.
“This is a life-threatening situation,” the NHC said in its latest public advisory. “Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott said the state’s highway patrol is deploying 100 state troopers to the Panhandle and Big Bend to prepare for the storm.
“If you aren’t prepared, you are running out of time,” Scott warned residents early Tuesday morning.