Hurricane Michael: ‘Monstrous’ storm strengthens
Hurricane Michael has strengthened to a category two storm, with winds topping 100mph (155km/h) as it churns towards the Florida coast.
The storm is expected to reach category three before making landfall on Wednesday.
Governor Rick Scott warned residents to evacuate, saying: “It could be the difference between life and death.”
At least 13 people have already been reported killed in Central America as a result of Hurricane Michael.
Forecasters say some regions of the US may see 12in (30cm) of rain, and storm surges of up to 12ft (3.6m).
The governor called Michael “a monstrous storm” and urged residents to listen to officials.
It is expected to crawl up the US East Coast after making landfall on the Gulf Coast.
Heavy rains is forecast for the Carolinas, which were drenched by Hurricane Florence last month.
The US National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, warned on Tuesday that warm waters will probably further strengthen Michael before it makes landfall.
Over 300 miles of coastline are currently under threat, the National Weather Service has said.
The agency warned residents in Florida and Alabama of possible storm surges, high winds and flash flooding.
President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday: “We are very well prepared for the incoming hurricane.”