1. SOUNDBITE (English) Ken Widelski, National Weather Liaison, NOAA:
"Good morning everyone. Hurricane Michael was upgraded to a Category 2 hurricane as of earlier this morning. Max sustained winds are now at 100 miles an hour. The storm is likely to strengthen to a Category 3 over the next 12 to 24 hours. That is major hurricane status. It will be moving up into the Florida Big Bend area likely during the day on Wednesday. Landfall expected around midday or into the afternoon hours. Main threats with this storm - we'll see destructive winds, especially right along coastal areas, likely over 100 miles per hour. Storm surge will produce significant impacts, particularly in the Florida Big Bend region - upwards of eight to 12 foot storm surge is expected. There could be some significant low lying flooding and coastal areas. Then the storm will quickly move up through Georgia, expecting some damaging winds up across the state of Georgia - downed trees, power lines and power outages and then up across the Carolinas by Thursday into Friday. We'll see additional heavy rainfall in North Carolina, where they had recently experienced flooding from Florence."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Ken Widelski, National Weather Liaison, NOAA:
"But, fortunately this time, the storm is not expected to stall. It will be moving rather quickly and then out to sea off the southern New England coast by Friday. And then in addition, we will see a threat for some tornadoes over the southeastern United States with the track of Michael. Again, this beginning late tonight and in through the day on Thursday."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeffrey Byard, Associate Administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery (ORR) at the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
"The time to evacuate and heed the local warnings is now. As Ken just alluded to, Hurricane Michael is going to be a devastating storm to a part of Florida that has not seen a storm of this magnitude in quite some time."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeffrey Byard, Associate Administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery (ORR) at the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
"You will see damage to infrastructure, you will see power outages and services that we're normally used to will be interrupted as a result of Hurricane Michael. The time to prepare is now. Please, we want to re-emphasize to heed those local warnings as they know best for our citizens and our visitors of the Florida Gulf Coast."
Hurricane Michael intensified into a Category 2 over warm Gulf of Mexico waters Tuesday amid fears it would strike Florida on Wednesday as an even stronger hurricane. Mandatory evacuations were issued as beach dwellers rushed to board up homes just ahead of what could be a devastating hit.
Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) briefed reporters on the latest threats from the hurricane and urged citizens to heed local warnings ahead of landfall.
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