Florida braces for trouble as Hurricane Michael aims for panhandle

The category 4 storm is expected to bring a life-threatening storm surge along with high winds and heavy rain.
20:47 | 10/10/18

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Transcript for Florida braces for trouble as Hurricane Michael aims for panhandle
Good morning everyone welcome to ABC news live we're just keeping a close eye on hurricane Michael right now closing in. On the Gulf Coast it is gearing up to potentially be be strongest storm ever. To hit the Florida Panhandle who want to go over to meld Griffin whose in our weather center keeping an I'll latest forecasts and now it looks like this storm is just hours away for making landfall. That's right I Nancy it's here on the satellite it is coming and is coming quick we're at all this afternoon. And let you set category lord now expected landfall is something that's just unprecedented for the port being handled it never happened before so we're seeing in packs that. These people really had never seen so I think you're right the satellite urged disparity it's Ike heading dangerously close to the Puerto cantonal at this time winds now up 245. Miles per hour. It's moving north northeast is right in that northeast turn up at thirteen miles per hour 65 miles out stopped last I can't my city. Here's the traffic at sea air Jessica. Hours it can't all. West of Tallahassee by this after samples acting want to work can't. Aunt uncle and raping an important one hurricane by later tonight at an or meet Apple's work which is often Carolina's. A tornado watch great actors outer bands it's very important to be aware that are possible here is even before it ever makes landfall intimacy Tallahassee Albany Georgia all tornado watch. After an outer bands push in areas already up on reader because it's getting so close and happy hurricane warnings and act. Tropical storm warnings now up from Mobile, Alabama all up into North Carolina is a widespread risk that we're looking at her Michael take a look at easily got up in nineteen Apalachicola that's PM chest at its making landfall. T much across. The southwest Georgia Wednesday night at an Albany Georgia sent out hourly us. Can you eat it as it was across Georgia that NBC 43 mile per hour wind gusts in Augusta that's Thursday morning it's going to be pretty quick but we still have a storm surge forward that thirteen eat parts of the lord can't handle. And at its reign. At 1212 inches possible there and you know. In north east he could see heavy rain from hurricane Michael so this is just they were going to be tracking. Of the next couple hours the biggest impact I think a lot of work and Hitler going to be. This afternoon about levity at all the weaker EPS that's to be seen her imports big ass cop catastrophic act possible like spreading storm storage and flash I am. I'm Melissa Griffin from our weather center Melissa thank you. Now we see with the storm looks like on the radar let's take a look a little looks like on the ground Maggie ruling is in. Panama City, Florida Maggie this is expected to be one of the hardest hit areas of the storm what does it look like right now. But doubts you it is certainly picked up in just the last half hours since even out ever even out here since. 3 AM this morning and it was relatively quiet but it seems like. Every minute we get closer to the store making landfall the wind picks up and the rain gets heavier officials here are telling us that. This is only the beginning a few more hours and we'll be hearing seeing hurricane force winds in the outer bands and in. Once Michael does make landfall is even and talking about a category four this could be historic for this area officials are reminding people that. This could be unlike anything they've ever seen before here. And Maggie are people preparing for all. Plus the question is a lot of people in Florida I think are used to dealing with hurricanes and assume we Ben threw onebeacon. Lived through another what an officials. Have been really careful to warn them. You have never been through a hurricane like this here in the panhandle so even if your parents or your grandparents say don't worry about it. We've been through these before you have never seen a category four a strong category four like Michaels promising to be. Make a landfall here so. But they're been mass evacuation area where we are right now. His under a mandatory evacuation our tells only open for first responders and media everyone else has been told believe so we got here yesterday. Everything was already boarded up shops were closed the gas station was shut down so for the most part. People are there they seem to be listening to. Authorities in leaving the area about we will know for sure until tomorrow and Maggie at what PM concern regarding you know storms are sometimes in these storms. In some areas of their bigger focus than others in terms of is a win the problem is the surge the problem is the rain the problem and so on. What are you hearing in terms of your area. The dance a good point because that obviously with this storm I think wind is a major concern just we're hearing topping 145. Right now but. It's a privately the biggest concern for many places here along the panhandle is necessarily wind it isn't necessarily reign it's really that storm surge we heard from. A fee not earlier saying that. People they tried. Hunkered down and lived through this type of storm surge will they don't normally live to talk about and that's a pretty dark warning. Coming from FEMA the study that storm surge in the double digits in here on the panel the biggest problems is that. The beach isn't there's it's not that Steven so it's just this shallow slope that the water can just a rush in. Now this hotel was picked for first responders and media because there was bill's very recently. It's well above sea level but they're worried about anywhere not near this hotel out here in Panama City Beach. There were concerned about storm surge is taking over this entire area and that's why they had those mass. Mandatory evacuation. All right Maggie really they're from Panama City, Florida Maggie stay safe thank you. And I wanna get over to Jonathan Mack in America the American Red Cross Jonathan I know you're immunization just so much. Ahead of these storms during and after what are preparations looking like this time around. Yeah holding her partner there right now we're worker but a couple. Proper ample find a message from local officials here quarter are important there are seeking the warrant serious. I want by. We or without people but Joker in either Florida or Alabama but their stated purpose warning that dot C waste. I'm not the best in figuring storms are velocity wanna see them go our way into that after dramatic first responders. Putting themselves in danger so Kurt people listen to their local officials like get to receive location that's what we have over 500 for crop. But did not workers in response in the street you're simply to go artwork. Or. Playing not everybody has a family member to drive off to Laura or another place to seek refuge. How do you provide shelter for all those people and how do you ensure that you're not picking an area where the storm might shift and end up hitting. Yeah that's what this is coordinated effort between across our local state and federal workers local train through this drill bit like in the fight location that currency was. And every apple but that message that people know where they are our jurors. Are looking for sheltered you can download our brick Crosslin merchant. That's going to be a heated real time that the board of shoppers not only before the storm or how. I just appreciate the efforts of all our partners or while slayer or response than an hour if somebody wants to seek shelter glacier have a kick but got sick was up. Jonathan any advice for people in the area that may be stuck in their homes for one reason or another. Yet you are we go to the height. And won a pretty many wall between UN outside circuit. Nadine interior caught in the future rapper. Simpler what we figuring toward greater search to find that. But you're the wind are getting very happy in your area there are trying to Concord out of the seat location just you'll want to be by when they're. I'm not CPP you have water coming your all art critic for the safest point possible up about sport you ought fortunately we still aren't. That the egos warning to local officials try to get what bird seat location. But obviously have the opportunity to open emergency. How food supplies and the opera that doorstep here unfortunately per accident occurred aren't you can wait it out and and Beecher. You're you're safe and you have the necessary materials the electorate and what. And a in just a little while ago Jonathan we were looking at images of pets that have been taken into shelters. He sort of explain what the protocol should be for people who have pets and maybe your worried that the pets might not be taken in. Yeah I edited to question a lot and are part are accurate Michael without our pets I would be very upset about white. We're crossing our localities work with partners across the state to make sure the pats have a seat when he goat so you are are seeking shelter in wanted to. Locality are awful I've you'll your local governments what site. That occurred about what shall going to be available for supporter. It differed Kerr localities about why I would encourage you got. We'll also have that information or where cops emergency yup sure that it searching for an area. I won't have that information about what you're your animal but it you'll be all be sure your Britain has supplied boots I get back. I it's your pet has been medication or he. Our crew yet the next couple days on the street corners as well as quote where medications and medical equipment whether I can back it help. Europe. You'll comparable sustainable a couple of days if you or we're all. All right Jonathan Mack an hour from the American Red Cross. Jonathan thank you so much and of course of one of the big concerns is as you have thousands hundreds of thousands of people trying to get out of this area. The roads aren't looking so great we have Michael let's go from our Tampa affiliate he's actually Tallahassee Florida. Which is also in the storm zone and that Michaels taking a look at what the roads look like right. I'm Michael. Right now run interstate ten were actually some kind of boxed in real quick breath a couple of these electric. Doug trucks from Texas we've seen a whole convoy these. Heading towards Tallahassee of course Tallahassee is you know it's full of trees so. They are expecting a lot of trees to be down taking down power lines debris on the road to definitely. A dangerous situation at this point on our roadways a lot of Monday. Across the lot of rivers and streams and you tell just from the surge coming in that they are already extremely high a couple that with the eight to twelve inches of rain we can get in certain areas and we're looking at a bad situations are yet interstate ten actually has a lot more people have been I would expect at this point. Just because. Everybody saying you know you got to be got to hunker down now and if it's something that people definitely have to listen joked trying to just my camera CC the back shot. You can see there's a car behind us obviously interstate ten's pretty clear but the two lane road that we were just on was a little bit more dangerous and that's where we saw a tree down. Just a short time ago it looked like one of those business. Squall lines came through and just blew a few trees down onto the roads apart for having to go around that we're gonna see a lot more of that. As soon as we get Tallahassee as well as his assistant Serbs moved through we are. Here along interstate ten heading to Tallahassee Michael was very easy action. At those Michael from our Tampa affiliate on his way to Tallahassee take a look at the roads there are now. Wanted to back to Panama City to our meteorologist rob Marciano who's there on the ground. A rabbit we're listening to unlisted talking about how does this particular storm is moving quickly which is usually good news. But an up for the panhandle they are particularly susceptible. To storm surge so they know it seems like a little bit of good and a little bit of bad at the same time. Tally trying to find a silver linings and over here I'll buy you your awareness in the storm surge right now this is rattle a title a couple of hours ago. And high tides coming in this afternoon all around. When the eye of the storm is going to make landfall so you can imagine just how high this water is going get another 5678. Feet on top where we are right now. Not all these dudes are that high not all these hotels almost all on the streets. Are that high so there is going to be a storm surge flooding there's going to be wind damage as well this is the equivalent of EF three tornado. 102030. Miles wide in some cases so. Catastrophic damage from the wind alone. Tropical storm conditions right now Diane and they are shut down the bridges. Across Panama City just minutes ago and officials now saying no evacuation. No call for help basically you shelter in place and ride this storm on until until it goes through and there is this all the lining is that fast moving nature of this storm. This should lead. Through here by nightfall for the most part is the I will be on the governor rain behind this as well so. That's the situation here this is going to be the strongest storm at this area. Has seen earliest on record and they're pretty prepared for a moment only about half of the people evacuation zone. Has an accurate and I containers not on them. Aren't as higher structure or stronger structure as well wolf you know enough to be in the line out this storm that was going to be a Dicey next. Ten to twelve hours fans just. Bit scary and I you're seeing the dues aren't that high but I know the other issue is the water is not that deep it's fairly shallow here just sort of explain. Why that makes that area so vulnerable to a storm like this. I mean you look at midway in Manhattan and as this is not central blow on the Gulf of Mexico he isn't normally pristine. Sure why Christ quarts of beaches. Unlike any and in the world and turquoise blue water and any one in full blown away from me. We got here swells of big breakers out there right now it looks like it looks like an angry Atlantic Ocean as opposed in the Gulf of Mexico. And the reason he got such a run up business shallow nature of this you don't see a big drop off in a speech in the symmetry in the ocean on the bottom of this lukewarm that golf. Is very shallow broad. Over a hundred miles out so. That tends to pile in this war in Iraq as the wind pushes it up which is what we're seeing now in his category forced winds pushing the water off howling enough. And where that shallow shelf. Allows it. Forces are basically farther in itself that's foremost concern about ten aids six to twelve foot storm surge that in some cases men don't have the protection of the dunes. Control and hundreds of grievance and Kansas you know quarter mile incidental and a half mile inland. In in the long line area itself as well as functional lowest areas were told to evacuate and hopefully most of them you know morning. Yeah definitely hoping that rob Marciano from Panama City, Florida rob we appreciate it thank you. And I went over to rescue McRae now the Cedar Key C we. Last storm hurricane Hermione earlier this year. This area was devastated by a storm surge of about seven feet hurricane Michael is now posing a much bigger threat so obviously big worries for that area. And resting the crane from my meteorologists from Orlando is taking a look at Cedar Key rusty. Hello for Cedar Key Florida meteorologist run to the grainy Cedar Key chain of islands in the big bend afford along the Gulf Coast. War we are going to watch what we believed to be significant storm surge move in during the afternoon hours. Now the one thing that's changed here in the last hour is it's getting a lot storm here you can see the dark ominous skies. There's actually a lot of lightning to our north and the fact that there's lightning associated. With storms this far away from Michael center to shows you how strong hurricane Michael is there's a lot of instability the winds have been freshening up as well. This is going to be the dry part of the morning as we are at a low tide cycle right now but. Anywhere around at this intersection immediately were I'm standing flooded in hurricane her mean two years ago. And the forecast right now with hurricane Mike would be for that kind of flooding to occur later today. That would occur during the high tide cycle which comes your way at 2:30 PM this evening arsenic this afternoon so the combination of the nine foot storm surge in the high tide we expect almost everything you see around us to be flooded. Residents are obviously very concerned about that now this water is gonna come in like the tide. During the afternoon it's gonna sit through a few hours it's gonna rush right back out what damage is left behind is still yet to be unseen. In Cedar Key Florida rusty the crane backed deal. All right rusty thank you and I want to get over to Tallahassee where in addition to everything we've heard flash flooding. Is also big concern Victor komando is there on the ground in the Victor looks like you're already starting to see the effects of this storm. Diana reasserted it pretty consistent right now so word downtown Tallahassee. We're right next to me they've actually taken the precaution of lowering what are these. Massive construction cranes they've done this throughout the city and really. Throughout the storm zone to protect the crane and the surrounding area here a huge concern for Tallahassee just take a look. Right past the crane. Fortis capital is. Covered with trees and there is no doubt that when Michael ripped through this area. Those trees will come down what they bring down power lines with them so will be looking at projectiles a lot of debris that means. Road closures and power outages for days may be even. Weeks. Once Michael makes its way through here so in preparation in advance of this monster storm. There are already more than 1000 utility workers here in place ready to get the city but. Back up and running after Michael makes its way to do it does appear like they learned their lesson after hurricane her mean came through here about two years ago one resident just told us that it. Tore the place up while her mean knocked out power some 75000. Customers. 80% of the electrical grid was damaged and it cost more than five million dollars in damages per mean it was just a category one. Hurricane Michael obviously much stronger the not Diane. Yet it seems that one of the daunting things is looking at the damage created by her mean and then realizing what a bigger threat. Michael seems to pose at least right now how to residents there seem to be reacting to all of this. -- we got in town yesterday we drove around the majority of this city had to be completely honest with you we only found. One business that was actually using plywood. And boarding up their glass storefront aside from that it was business as usual here in Tallahassee. The streets are definitely a little and tear today as we are just hours away from. Feeling the real brunt of hurricane Michael for for the most part I gotta tell you this. City was not acting as if it were hiding hurricane and coming in a matter of hours. That is a bit scary are authorities weighing in on not. What's up Diana sort of setting and I'm think it's a bit scary that a team that people are really getting these warnings are authorities trying to sort of encourage them to take the storm a little more seriously. You know authorities had been out front here in Tallahassee as they have been throughout the state of Florida. Now there was no mandatory evacuation in place for Leon County where we are here in Tallahassee. That said at this point if you were going to evacuate officials have made it clear the time for that has passed at this point you need to hunker down and shelter in place. Victor canned of their from Tallahassee Florida Victor thank you. Now I go over to David Muir who caught up with some hurricane hunters. We're talking about why this storm is so dangerous partly because there's nothing in its path to stop it David. The good morning as you know this hurricane to already making history before it gets here. It's a category four is the first time they've seen a category four here in the Florida Panhandle. They dealt with two hurricanes before Opel and Dennis who major hurricanes or both cat three. But it winds of 145 miles per hour already this is now 65 miles south of where we are here in Panama City right down the hurricane hunters I spoke with a overnight. Telling me their biggest fear in these final hours is that this Perkins gonna continue to travel over the warm waters of the gulf but nothing to knock the power down and that's exactly what's happened. As few losses this distance traveled over the warm waters of the gulf what's your biggest concern at the room. Reminded me of some historical storms with the very warm waters of the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Monterrey that he had forecast. Continued intensification. In the is really likely to occur. The satellite images of this storm are really dramatic deceit and you can see that I as fully formed as this storm strengthens. They're now expecting a storm surge up to thirteen feet. From Panama City to Apalachicola sorority watching that a real threat from the storm surge but also the winds as they tear through here. And as you know the governor here in Florida Rick Scott telling everyone that the time to get out has now passed. Hunker down but he did warn everyone to diversity pupils will not be able to get the people if they're in need during that. Height of this storm and he also said the storm can kill it's been deadly already on its path to get here. And as David Nir for Panama City, Florida deathly helping people are taking the proper precautions out there. And for now we're gonna toss it back to our affiliate WNBB in Panama City for their live coverage thanks for watching.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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