(Weather Underground) Hurricane-force wind gusts, torrential rains, and a massive storm surge are belting Florida’s Panhandle as extremely dangerous Hurricane Michael closes in on an afternoon landfall. At 1 pm EDT, the hurricane hunters found that Michael was still intensifying, with sustained winds of 150 mph and a central pressure of 919 mb. A storm surge of over eight feet was already affecting the Panhandle, inundating many escape routes. Michael is poised to be one of the most top-ten most intense hurricanes on record to make landfall in the U.S. If you are in the hurricane’s impact zone, now is the time to hunker down in your safe shelter and not be out driving.

Remember that winds are stronger the higher up you go; if you are sheltering in a high-rise building, the lower floors will be safer than the upper floors. According to the National Hurricane Center’s classification of Category 4 wind damage, this is what can be expected where the eastern eyewall of Michael comes ashore: Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. FULL REPORT