Store owner stays put for Hurricane Michael

Tracking Michael What You Need to Know

A danger to life is also posed by large trees falling over and flash flooding, with between 10cm and 20cm of rainfall expected in the region.

The hurricane center, citing Michael's risky trifecta of storm surge, flash flooding and winds, described the seventh hurricane of the Atlantic season as "life-threatening".

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Citrus County.

The speed of the storm - Michael was moving north 12 mph (19 kph) - gave many people a dwindling number of hours to prepare or flee before being caught up in damaging wind and rain.

At 11 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center said Michael had top sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (175 kph). Chances for tropical storm force winds in Volusia County over that time period are slightly less.

Tolls have been lifted in Northwest Florida to ease evacuation, and Scott said fuel distribution is being watched, though there haven't been "widespread fuel shortages or outages". Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 35 miles (56 kilometers) from the core and tropical-storm-force winds out 175 miles (280 kilometers). Forecasters say the storm will bring gusty winds and up to six inches of rain in central and eastern parts of the state before moving out Friday.

"We are running out of time", the Republican governor said on Twitter. But, he urged residents to stay "vigilant and ready".

National Hurricane Center track for Hurricane Michael, as of Tuesday afternoon. A shift eastward would not.

"This storm has the potential to be a historic storm, please take heed", the sheriff's office said in the post. "Just have your emergency plan in place and your supplies in place, just in case the storm shifts a little east and puts us at risk of a little greater impact". He said many houses that suffered roof damage in Florence are still covered in tarps and could be vulnerable to strong wind and rain.

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The governor warned the hurricane is expected to strengthen to a Category 3 storm when it makes landfall Wednesday. The National Hurricane Center has enacted hurricane, tropical storm, and storm surge warnings for more than 300 miles of the Florida coast.

Interaction between Michael and a high pressure system to the north were creating windy and hazardous conditions along local beaches Monday, coinciding with seasonal high tides. Because he owns two businesses in the area, Givens, who lives inland, said he was not evacuating.

"We (first) bumped it up to Tuesday night. and then we bumped it up to Tuesday morning", Cindy Guinn said.

"The threat for tornadoes will increase late tonight into Wednesday over parts of the Florida Panhandle, the northern Florida Peninsula, and southern Georgia", the hurricane center said.

Michael gained new strength over warm tropical waters amid fears it would swiftly intensify into a major hurricane before striking Florida's northeast Gulf Coast, where frantic coastal dwellers are boarding up homes and seeking evacuation routes away from the risky storm heading their way.

"Also, since the ground is saturated in many areas it will not take as much wind to topple weakened trees causing additional power outages", he added.

Florida's governor Rick Scott called Michael "a monstrous hurricane", and has declared a state of emergency for 35 Florida counties from the panhandle to Tampa Bay. Volusia and Flagler counties were not included in that declaration. The Florida Panhandle, southeast Alabama, and southern Georgia will see 4 to 8 inches of rain, with isolated areas facing up to 12 inches, the National Hurricane Center said. The fast-moving storm is likely to make landfall early Wednesday.

Kemp said the bill totaled over $800 when she and her family fled Hurricane Irma's uncertain path past year.

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