North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has issued a State of Emergency for North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Michael.
Cooper said the last thing residents need, who are still trying to recover from Florence, is another Hurricane. Gov. Cooper said many areas in North Carolina are still very weak following last month's storm.
"If you are told to evacuate, please do so," Cooper said in a press conference Wednesday at the Emergency Management Headquarters.
Hurricane Michael is on track to become the most powerful storm to ever make landfall on the Florida panhandle Wednesday. As of Wednesday morning, Michael is actually gaining in strength with winds of 145 mph and gusts topping 165.
As of 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center measured maximum sustained winds of 145 mph. The storm was located about 60 miles SSW of Panama City and is expected to bring 14 feet storm surge in some parts of the Florida panhandle. Michael is forecasted to bring life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and heavy rainfall along the Gulf Coast of Florida before moving north through Georgia and into the Carolinas Thursday. Meteorologists expect Michael to make landfall near Panama City Beach, Florida Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane.
How rare is that? Well, it would actually be the first time ever.
"It's never happened before in 167 years of keeping records, there's never been a Category 4 storm to make landfall in the panhandle," said TODAY show forecaster Al Roker.
First Warn Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich believes the biggest threats in the Carolinas will be heavy rain and tropical storm force winds. A flash flood watch is in effect for the viewing area until Friday morning.