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Gov. Warns Residents As Florida Is About To Be Hit By The Worst Storm In A Century

NASA Earth Observatory / Wikimedia Commons

Only a month after Hurricane Florence caused more than $18 billion in damages in North Carolina, another major Atlantic storm is sweeping towards more than 300 miles of U.S. coastline.

On October 9, Hurricane Michael was believed to turn into a Category 3 storm, but as it approaches the Florida Panhandle, its winds are strengthening.

As of this morning, Michael is believed to become "the strongest hurricane to hit the Florida Panhandle in recorded history," according to a CNN report.

"This is the worst storm that our Florida Panhandle has seen in a century," Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday morning. "Hurricane Michael is upon us, and now is the time to seek refuge."

"Everybody's got to get ready. Don't take a chance."

Warnings have been issued on the coasts of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend, and Nature Coast, where life-threatening storm surges will wreak havoc.

Portions of the Florida Gulf Coast are also under high alert and should prepare for damaging winds.

As of this morning, Michael's center was reported to have maximum sustained winds of 145 mph.

These winds will also extend to the Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia, and southeast Alabama, as the hurricane makes its way inland.

The National Hurricane Center also reports that life-threatening flash flooding may occur from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of Georgia and South Carolina.

What's at stake

algal bloom
Toxic freshwater algal blooms are a toxic health risk. Landsat - NASA

Nearly four million people will be affected by Hurricane Michael, and so far six airports in the Panhandle have closed.

A weather station in Bald Point, Florida, recently reported a sustained wind of 48 mph and a wind gust of 59 mph, while the Apalachicola airport reported a wind gust of 58 mph, according to the NHS.

Water levels are also rising at a rapid rate.

Category 4 storms are the second-highest hurricane classification, which means that Michael will wreak havoc on not only homes, but people's livelihoods.

Major hurricanes like this can also increase the growth of algae, which may pose a health risk to both humans and animals.

Here's a look at Hurricane Michael as seen from space.

[H/T: CNN]

We hope everyone affected by this storm is safe during this difficult time!

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.