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Tracking Hurricane Michael

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Hurricane Michael was upgraded to an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm early Wednesday by the National Hurricane Center and was poised to crash into the Florida Panhandle later in the day with potentially historic force. At 5 a.m., an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter crew reported top sustained winds up to near 140 mph with higher gusts. Michael’s eye was about 140 miles from Panama City and 130 miles from Apalachicola, but moving relatively fast at 13 mph. Tropical-storm force winds extending 185 miles from the center were already lashing the coast. Florida Gov. Rick Scott said it was too late for people in the immediate path of the storm to flee. "The time for evacuating along the coast has come and gone," Scott tweeted Wednesday. "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." Brock Long, adminstrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, warned that the brutal storm would "stay intact" as a hurricane as it roars through the Florida Panhandle and through parts of Alabama and Georgia. Long said the storm could leave wide swaths of the region powerless for weeks. "Those who stay to witness storm surge don’t live to tell the tale," Long tweeted. "If told to evacuate ahead of #hurricanemichael do so now while there’s time."
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