Hurricane Michael picks up steam overnight

Hurricane Michael seen from space off the coast of Florida

Category 4 Michael is packing maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, centered about 170 miles south of Apalachicola, Florida and moving north at some 12 miles per hour.

The hurricane made a direct hit on New Orleans as a Category 3 storm, causing levees and flood walls to fail in dozens of places.

This video, taken by Aaron Rigsby of Live Storms Media, was shot today as Hurricane Michael hit the coast.

Hurricane Michael has picked up steam as it sped across the Gulf of Mexico towards the Florida Panhandle.

Hurricane Michael will also cause almost one million people to be without power, not just on the coast but inland as well in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.

Almost 30 million people in the Southeast were in its crosshairs. Gulf County in the Panhandle of Florida.

Scott extended a state of emergency to 35 counties and activated 2,500 National Guardsmen. "Dangerous storm surge continues along the coast of the Florida Panhandle".

President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday: "We are very well prepared for the incoming hurricane". Katrina caused an estimated $108 billion in damage, making it the costliest hurricane ever to strike the United States.

While a state of emergency has not been declared in Virginia or the Carolinas, authorities are preparing for effects from the hurricane.

Even if Michael wasn't making landfall in a particularly vulnerable section of USA coastline, it would be an unrecoverable storm for many families.

Michael is expected to bring heavy rain, life-threatening storm surge, and risky winds to Florida.

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But the storm's center and where it makes landfall with its destructive winds represent just one of several concerns.

"There's nothing between us and this storm but warm water, and I think that's what terrifies us about the potential impacts", Gillum said.

Massive power outages are expected in areas of Alabama, where Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide state of emergency. Tornadoes could spawn in the Southeast Wednesday into Thursday, forecasters said.

Meanwhile, tropical storm watches were in effect in some coastal areas of Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and SC.

But Michael is a monster storm by wind speed as well.

In the advisory, Michael was located 20 miles south of Panama City and 15 miles west-southwest of Mexico Beach. He focused on islands off the coast whose bridges may close as the storm approaches.

"This will not be, as far as we can tell, a repeat of what we saw in Florence", McMaster said.

Earlier, Scott said on Twitter that it was too late to evacuate the target zone and that people who had stayed should immediately seek refuge.

Some 300 miles of coastline remain under storm surge, hurricane and tropical storm warnings.

"Satellite images of Michael's evolution on Tuesday night were, in a word, jaw-dropping", wrote Bob Henson, a meteorologist with weather site Weather Underground. The water is still turned on. Mandatory evacuations were issued as beach dwellers rushed to board up homes just ahead of what could be a devastating hit. The hurricane is also expected to bring a storm surge up to 14 feet high. Following Hurricane Irma previous year, 14 people died when a South Florida nursing home lost power and air conditioning.

The National Hurricane Centre has described the life-threatening winds and heavy rainfall as "potentially catastrophic".

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