TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Michael is strengthening as it races over the Gulf of Mexico approaching a landfall along Florida’s Panhandle.
Forecasters say deadly storm surge, catastrophic wind damage and heavy rainfall are imminent.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the Category 4 storm has maximum sustained winds of 145 mph (230 kph) and is moving at 13 mph (20 kph).
At 8 a.m., Michael was centered about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Panama City, with tropical storm force winds already lashing the coast.
The hurricane center says Michael will be the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle.