Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum urges residents to seek shelter

Hurricane Michael is already generating high winds and heavy rain on the Florida panhandle.
18:03 | 10/10/18

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Transcript for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum urges residents to seek shelter
Welcome to ABC news live we're keeping an eye on hurricane Michael now up to a category four storm. And still gaining strength is gearing up to be potentially historic. Particularly in the Florida Panhandle states from Florida all the way to North Carolina are now on alert and are on Melissa Griffin is in the weather center keeping track. Of the latest forecast for us Melissa. And so we just got the latest update from the national hurricane savvy 11 AM at that they got it with a new track the latest information. We already have winds gusting over sixty miles per hour Apalachicola. Storm surge are ready over four feet this is one of the top three storm surge all on record there. All ready and this is just the beginning so let it take you to the maps now the satellite you can see if there that I getting. Dangerously close to fort Florida Panhandle again landfall is imminent this afternoon we are very. Very nervous that it's going to make ramp while the strong category four and like I said this is something that we have not seen as an unprecedented event. For this area of Florida and the Florida Panhandle. The latest tracks he can think. Landfall about at category four this afternoon and then after example it's going to weaken pretty quickly even by this evening category two as it makes its way. Southwest Georgia and a tropical storm by early tomorrow morning as it scoots through the Carolinas. The tornado watch this is one of the most dangerous parts and with hurricanes along with the storm surge and the wind is tornadoes tornado is usually our grief during hurricanes but. They come and the they come out of nowhere because you cannot see them they're usually in those heavy rain bands just before landfall to Panama City Tallahassee up through southwestern Georgia. All in that tornado watch even warning starting to pop up now. And those advisories stretch across much of the southeast even plot on watches for parts of the Carolinas tropical storm warnings in effect for millions but I need a time out for it. This is the time to. If you're not out now this is the time you need to prepare because Wednesday 1 o'clock that's today it just two hours 84 about are we got for Apalachicola. Landfall happens one to 4 PM by working and it moves inland. We still have when that's over sixty miles per hour this is what we expect the strongest storm surge happen now over the next 56 hours this that the catastrophic damage that it expected with the storm is happening this afternoon. And that it's with it in Georgia fifty mile per hour wind gusts even in Albany Georgia with very heavy rain moving across Georgia Atlanta included. Got that still tropical storm force winds bite Thursday morning. Storm surge again and major actor the National Hurricane Center now raising the storm surge up fourteen eat. That includes Panama City Beach up over int he apple ethical and around the Big Ben region or very concerned about that storm surge during high tide in the next couple hours at. At any point today could be. Catastrophic that and the rainfall. You know the storms moving fast so we aren't at sea at high rainfall event that the slots on Islamic Florence but it's going to move through the Carolinas that you get some flash flooding is while they are ready law. A lot of rain earlier last month from that warrant so we don't they don't need anymore so overall. A catastrophic lightning storm is happening it's eminently at all happening just hours from now we tracking its rates and that that you. Right now Griffin from our weather center Melissa thank you. And now we want to get over to the mayor at Tallahassee it's one of the areas that will be first hit. By this storm and mayor Andrew Gillen is on the phone with us in a mayor we heard the governor already say if you haven't gotten out already. Now it's time to hunker down we also heard one of our correspondents there in Tallahassee. A sense as saying lots of people are just going about their business as usual so what. Well I'll you one echoed the fox of the of the governor and that. At this stage we want people to I defy what they're going to be at stake here. We know that this is is the lord storm but then it for us. That the bands are coming in intermittently but by. Around buried between 34 we expect tropical storm force winds to make their way into the year and that's before the more significant impacts of this storm arrives. I don't want anybody in this community below them soak in the thinking that there's a fault that this state he. There isn't this storm will be the largest and most impact that we've seen in our secure yet an over a generation. I'll bet serious and so folks have got to take up their lives seriously. We can replace. Houses and other maturing notes we cannot replace slide since so I hope people keep the warning that this storm this serious one we needed shelter. And we're looking at your tree renouncing stay sheltered seek shelter now heed warnings do not risk your life. All good advice from a government standpoint how do you prepare for a storm like this. Well I tell you we feel really prepared here at the city the county hundreds of trained. A professional Diane who had been network over the last several days of the 24. Which she X. Are spoke had been all they're ready. We body and increase staged over a hundred utility asked. To the look of the storm. Electric up power grid restoration. We have been warning people however that we expect it to be somewhat pro law. Com under her and her me we have 90% of our utility system that was a walk after that storm. I'm higher it would system went down we had to manually manage those pol. So we we know that this storm will be bigger and more entrenched at bat. As simple tactic coordinate themselves appropriately we bought in the resources that we feel appointed by the content. Third they come to row we're gonna have our utility step will be six times its normal size. In an effort to get our community up in going to restored but most importantly right now we're urgent safety. The working people follow the instructions of they're government emergency management officials and despite what you may see what you're all I do not take to the streets. Before the all clear had been given because our first car or it could be clearing roads emergency vehicles. And what do you make of that let me talk about the damage. That you saw with a category one storm what do you make of the fact they're not looking at a category four. Yeah I mean obviously it's very concerning us. Now we can prepare all we want but that fit our area asking the warm. But this size and impact. And you know we're generation in the late eighteen hundreds and so. We know that that this storm is is it gonna reach katic on the regional this state. It is our whole. That we have obviously I've made the right kind of announcement provoked the taking Q. And now we're in a place where it's absolutely time prosecute their plans into motion let's make sure everybody stayed safe. And then beyond that Uighur perk that's responder. We're not able to get emergency vehicles to use wind storms strict got thirty not our. So please don't make decisions is that what you were deeper harm's way we will recover we will absolutely get back to a 100%. But in this moment we need people to make the Smart decision to keep them in the polls and their debit side. And there what happens to people who were an evacuation zones in just did not heed those mornings. What if they need rare. Well unfortunately I mean I think this is probably true over responders all over this state they're does become a point under which. You do not want to risk a loss of your first responders and other inclination to respond every coal. They did it within their DNA. But it also our responsibility to ensure the base basic and we don't put in harm's way and so if nothing else don't think it pigeons that. Caught someone else. There's safety in their security how to those who have not heeded the warning -- quickly on the safest place. Within your home or wherever it that your Arctic the awkward Alan. And yet they could you can't until this storm I get through and then we can get the kind of necessary resources to you but the storm served on the coast. But a lot about concerned. Our city has played host in the explained post right now the political community but it relocated and are sheltering a marketing we get sick. I shelters open being run by Marat school board superintendent of schools. And we've got a whole hold other resources over thirty or so ATP. Our emergency operations centers that are ready they. Of the wanna make sure that altering condition and in place to repeat their support so what's your shelter we can help protect you could of the storm. And then beyond that will all work together get a community Specter go. All right mayor Tallahassee Andrew gill we appreciate taking the time to talk just think you and stay safe. Her quirk creek year. And here the mayor saying many people from the coastal cities have now gone over to Tallahassee hoping to seek some safety one of those coastal cities. Panama City, Florida that's where Maggie ruling is on the ground now and Maggie yeah I know you're already seeing the effects of the storm. And then even adheres and about 3 AM this morning it seems like. Every half hour minute by minute the winds just can't keep increasing the rain. Keeps getting heavy here. We're told right now that the core of Michael just about sixty miles off the coast of us here in Panama city beach Florida and it's sort of man. Bizarre and weird feeling to know that that monster store and that storm that. The mayor of Tallahassee and all the Meade yacht is he warning us is going to be catastrophic going to be life threatening. Isn't that close off the shore right now as we speak so the mood here right now is just in anticipation people are waiting to know what's next know this is the beginning but. As officials have warned this is. Barely the beginning of what could prove to be a very catastrophic storm. And Maggie NO one of the big concerns with this storm is just the shear wind power I mean. The panhandle has never seen a category four. He has kinda hard to believe Diane that we're looking at winds of a topping 145. Miles per hour possibly even increasing slightly more before landfall. It its critics are they also remember that just yesterday about this same time. Almost 34 hours ago this is just a category one hurricane so to think about how much. It's intensified. Just about 24 hours in the fact that it could increase even a little bit more. He's a wind gusts are supposed to be unprecedented for this area and so. I know for even ourselves we spent a lot of time talking at a hotel manager here asking about Ken the windows withstand. This sort of pressure and he was saying. This building is only built two years ago it's up to code it's double pane but. Think it's only really guarantee up to a category three hurricane so even when you're at your most prepared there are still dangers and that's a part of the reason why officials are so nervous. Understandably so I get it see you were having a hard time. Standing up in the wind already and you know over Havana. Is not even close. Exactly just on that one gust is kind of slowly but surely picking up it seems like every minute we stand out here keeps increasing and there's a whole media staging area little but just outside this hotel we're really running out of places to go because as the African officials they don't want is leaving they said where we are right now. We can't leave our hotel if we leave reporting our lives in danger first responders lives in danger so. Everyone is hunkered in here right now we're only expecting things get worse than fairly. Dramatically worse pretty rapidly here and Maggie the other big thing of course is a storm surge our people preparing for that. Well that and the other major major concern we keep hearing from authorities that storm surge is the real killer that's what often. I'm is most deadly in these types of storms and enforcement with Michael and a where it's hitting here in the panhandle. It is a major concern we're talking storm surge in the double digits of the thirteen feet in some places you know that's. Twice the height of many full grown men so that is in an incredibly dangerous thing. And we're told it hopefully our hotel here is save it was built on high ground but even that they can't necessarily. Guarantee with the high winds and storm surge so that's where the biggest concerns are not played his entire area coastal communities like us here in Panama City Beach. Have better evacuate under a mandatory evacuation because. They don't want people to get stuck in storm surge. A Mitterrand's he does just spoke to. I'm told us that one of the scariest things is that it sort of slowly build but once it hits that breaking point where there's nothing holding back any longer than its instantaneous into the huge rush and that's often what catches people and can close off escape routes rapidly and so that's another reason why officials are so scared of storm surge in situations like this if. Hannibal deathly need to be on Tyler her aunt Maggie really from Panama City, Florida Maggie thanks. And I want to get over to Kenneth moment Kenneth is that the FEMA headquarters in FEMA administrator Brock I know called this. A hurricane of the worst kind Ken at that says a lot coming from FEMA. It does Diane good morning to you FEMA said his got thousands of people on the ground is ready to mobilize in those areas hit by this storm. And these are the people hoping and coordinating them behind me here. These are the people that are inside the nerve senator senator for the federal response. At FEMA headquarters. No surprise it is being the inside this room and there's an energy Diane because there's anticipation. For Michael making landfall and again FEMA headquarters. They are ready to mobilize those people who are down there and Florida in Georgia in the southeast. Rock longest units in just gives an update he called this the worst type of storm unprecedented. Woertz you do not want to hear from someone. In this post here's what we know from Brock clunky says. Major hurricanes cause large losses of life and the most amount of destruct is a FEMA has 3000. People. In the southeast right now ready to help boost state and local officials the focus post storm will be on getting those roads opens a FEMA can get. And teams are first responders. Now due to downed trees and downed power lines electricity is expected to be out for weeks. In those hard hit areas FEMA has worn many structures built before 2001 in Florida were not designed to withstand. Category three storms and we know that Michael is well over that with a 145 mile per hour winds at cat four. Now last night 4000 people in or seven do you Red Cross shelters across the panhandle Florida and to Alabama. And once the storm passes to the north hurricane force winds are trying to be felt in portions of Georgia I'm widespread power outages downed trees. I structural damaged the threat of tornadoes along the track of Michael are expecting out Thursday and Friday. We're talking about a rain threat of severe rain threat. Heavy rain in the Carolinas areas that are already recovering from Florence and so FEMA has also still on the ground there. Ready to help those people Diane. And that Kenneth you know they and you mentioned a few different kind of scary points in there. One as Maggie mentioned a lot of these. Newer buildings still are only built to withstand may be a category threes you're looking at wind speeds that may be too much for them to handle. And then of course the storm surge in the area is always a big concern and you combine that with people who didn't evacuate the governor now says it's too late. It's time to hunker down so what's the sentiment there at theme how worried are they about loss of life here. If you're not able to find a shelter. They suggest you hunker down and be ready. To try to get in touch with officials but just know that it could be some time before they can get to you as far as the corny response here. They say they're monitoring all those areas all the potentially hard hit areas and as he led sand storm surge Diane no official actually had a 915 a FEMA briefing here at headquarters that was that. He said nine to fourteen. Another thing they said Diane is that there are pros and cons of course with this storm. And it's is as hard to call a pro. That this storm is moving fast but he's in the fact of the Carolinas could be really be hit move more rain. It's a good thing the storm could move fast through that area because those series has been hit so hard in the past few weeks. Understandable Kenneth moan their from FEMA headquarters Kenneth thank you. And I wanna get over to David you were over in Panama city of Florida where. We got a wave measuring about 31 feet and now we're being told the device measuring the waved has stopped. Sending data but last wave measured 31 feet high David New York is in Panama City David. Good morning again as we continue to monitor hurricane Michael this is going to be a monster hurricane a category four hurricane. And keep in mind they have not seen a category four hurricane here the Florida Panhandle this portion of Florida ever. Hurricanes opal and Dennis back in 95 in 2005 they were major hurricanes but they were capped threes. This account for its bringing winds of at least a 145 miles per hour at last check that's the latest reporting. From the National Weather Service this is going to be a significant. And potentially deadly hurricane as it passes through its been deadly already on its path to get here. One of the things that we've been noting is the National Weather Service said the bully out of the water that they use to measure of the waves. The sheer scope of the ways being whipped up by this hurricane is no longer sending data. The last wave that it measured was more than thirty feet about 31 feet but again they point out. And rather ominous fashion that they no longer have data coming in from that belief. As we look at it this morning the eye of the storm is now fully formed and again the fear is that a continue to strengthen before it makes landfall which again happens around. 2 PM eastern 1 o'clock local time right here. In fourth. All right David Muir from Panama City, Florida but of course the concern of this storm expands to Georgia and the Carolinas as well that whole area. Is on alert. And rightfully so we do want it and on this straight it is time lapse video and West Palm Beach. Florida you can literally see the rain. Coming in. And believe that there is much much more to come behind nap this garment is scheduled to make landfall. Little later on this afternoon and we are hoping that everybody in the area takes all the proper precautions. That does it for us right now on ABC news live but we're gonna continue coverage with WNBB our affiliate in Panama City, Florida thanks for watching.

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

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