Florida Panhandle Braces for Hurricane Michael, Now a Major Category 3 Storm

The storm is set to cause a 13-foot storm surge.

More than 100 counties in Alabama and Florida have declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Michael, which is set to strike the Gulf Coast Wednesday. 

The Category 3 hurricane, as of Tuesday afternoon, is packing maximum sustained winds up to 120 mph and is considered a "life-threatening" storm, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm could be the most destructive to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades and storm surge of up to 13 feet is expected, the NHC said.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has activated 1,250 National Guardsmen for hurricane duty.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous," Scott said at a news conference Sunday. "This storm has the potential to bring devastating impacts to communities across the Panhandle and Big Bend, and every family must be prepared."

Alabama is expected to see widespread power outages and heavy rain as well. The hurricane could also affect parts of Georgia and the Carolinas, which are still recovering from the damage of Hurricane Florence.

President Trump said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is prepared to provide federal resources to Florida if necessary. 

"As Hurricane Michael nears landfall, we are working with state and local officials in Florida to take all necessary precautions," Trump said Monday. "It looks like another big one."