How Hurricane Michael became catastrophically strong overnight

After intensifying overnight, Hurricane Michael is now pummeling the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm — the strongest hurricane on record to ever strike the region. Hundreds of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate as Michael’s winds top speeds of 145 miles per hour, NBC News reports.

Storm surge is expected to bring flood waters reaching 14 feet high — and already, there are “life threatening storm surge and catastrophic winds moving on shore,” the National Hurricane Center says. For those who stayed put, it’s time to seek shelter out of the way of waves and wind, Florida Governor Rick Scott warned on Twitter: “The time for evacuating along the coast has come and gone.”

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