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Hurricane Michael Is Expected To Be A "Monster Storm" - Here's What You Need To Know

NASA Earth Observatory

Another major Atlantic hurricane is making its way towards the U.S. coastline, only a month after Hurricane Florence ravaged North Carolina.  

Last month's heavy rains caused more than $18 billion in damages, and has left residents worried about the long-term environmental impacts.

Like every hurricane that wreaks havoc, all we learn is that there's absolutely no way to put a stop to its destruction.

Mother nature is a powerful force, and while we can't put an end to natural disasters, at least we can plan for their arrival.

As of this week, residents of the Gulf Coast are on high alert after a Category 1 hurricane is expected to strengthen to a dangerous Category 3 storm.

Hurricane Michael
The name Michael has been used for more than three tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean. NASA Earth Observatory

According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Michael will make landfall on 300 miles of coastline.

It's expected to cause life-threatening storm surges, damaging winds, and dangerous flash flooding.

"[The hurricane] isn't heading to any one town."

As the tropical storm grows stronger, the National Hurricane Center reports that the hurricane can reach maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph in the next 24 hours.

This would classify Hurricane Michael as a major hurricane, and already some news outlets are calling it a "monster storm."

Here's where the hurricane is reported to make landfall:

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

By Wednesday night and Thursday, Michael is expected to cross the southeastern U.S.

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

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 will occur from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of Georgia and South Carolina.

The Center adds that there's still uncertainty as to the exact parameters of the hurricane, but that locals surrounding those areas should remain on high alert.

"It should be noted that the location and magnitude of peak storm surge flooding is very sensitive to small changes in the track, intensity, and structure of the hurricane. Since there is still uncertainty in all of these parameters, the official NHC storm surge forecast and watch/warning areas includes various plausible scenarios."

Mandatory evacuations are already in order.

According to The Weather Channel, Michael "could be the strongest hurricane to make landfall along the stretch of Florida's panhandle Gulf Coast in 12 years."

Governor Rick Scott has already issued a state of emergency to 35 counties: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy, Citrus,Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Alachua, Union, Bradford and Baker counties.

"Everybody's got to get ready. Don't take a chance," Scott said at a news conference Sunday. "We're going to get storm surge, we have wind, we have a chance of flooding, we have a significant chance of tornadoes."

Early Monday, Scott urged residents on Florida's panhandle to evacuate north:

As for Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency, warning residents to anticipate power outages, wind damage, and flying debris.

[H/T: National Hurricane Center / CNN]

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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.