Hurricane Michael strengthened to a Category 4 early Wednesday morning, hours before Florida’s governor announced the chance to evacuate had come and gone.
The hurricane is now set to smash into Florida’s coastline with maximum sustained winds of up to 145 miles per hour and a storm surge of waves that could reach up to 13 feet, going over the roofs of houses. Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a warning via Twitter Tuesday night, saying then that it was the last chance for those under orders of evacuation to leave. Wednesday morning, however, Scott said the chance had come and gone. (RELATED: ‘You Cannot Survive This’: Rick Scott Issues Dire Warning Ahead Of Hurricane Michael)
The time for evacuating along the coast has come and gone. First responders will not be able to come out in the middle of the storm. If you chose to stay in an evacuation zone, you must SEEK REFUGE IMMEDIATELY.
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) October 10, 2018
The National Hurricane Center characterized the impending storm surge as life threatening, affirming Scott’s Tuesday warning that “This storm can kill you.” Rainfall of up to 12 inches has also been predicted for Florida, which could cause flash flooding in certain areas.
Jeff Byard, associate administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, announced that the region should expect “major infrastructure damage” with regard to wastewater treatment systems, public transportation, and electric power. The storm has already shut down a large portion of offshore oil and natural gas production.
President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for all of Florida, as did Republican Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama, while Republican Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for 92 counties in south Georgia.
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