Hurricane Michael continues to strengthen to an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane

Sam Chaney, Managing Editor

As Hurricane Michael barreled its way over the Gulf of Mexico and towards the Florida Panhandle, it only continued to strengthen and, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Oct. 10, it upgraded to what the National Hurricane Center has described as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane.

Michael’s outer rainbands are just now beginning to reach the coast, and it has been described as a “life-threatening event for portions of the northeastern Gulf Coast.”

Hurricane Michael is now . Category 4 hurricane. Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center.

The NHC confirmed in their 4 a.m. update that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 140 mph with higher gusts. Additionally, continued strengthening prior landfall is possible, though Michael is expected to weaken as it crosses the southeastern United States.

A Storm Surge Watch is in currently effect for Anclote River, FL to Anna Maria Island, FL, including Tampa Bay, and a Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Alabama/Florida border to Suwannee River, FL.

“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,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted Wednesday morning. “If you chose to stay in an evacuation zone, you must SEEK REFUGE IMMEDIATELY.”

President Donald Trump also took to Twitter the day before in order to warn Floridians of the danger and urge them to listen to their officials.

“FLORIDA – It is imperative that you heed the directions of your State and Local Officials,” he said. “Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!”

Spinnaker will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.

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