Hurricane Michael forecast to make landfall as Category 4

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Hurricane Michael is en route to the Panama City Beach area. (Image Courtesy of NOAA Satellites)Hurricane Michael is en route to the Panama City Beach area. (Image Courtesy of NOAA Satellites)

The National Hurricane Center is warning that Hurricane Michael, now a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, could be a “potentially catastrophic hurricane.”

Tuesday, Oct. 9, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Southern Service Center issued a regional emergency declaration for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Truck drivers providing direct emergency assistance to the included states have been granted relief from Parts 390 through 399 of federal regulations for the duration of the emergency.

The hurricane is expected to make landfall around midday Wednesday near Panama City Beach, Florida. A hurricane warning remains in effect from the Alabama/Florida border to Suwannee River, Florida. Tropical storm conditions could arrive in the area within the next few hours. Hurricane Michael is likely to bring with it life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall and flash flooding.

A Tropical Storm Warning currently extends from the Alabama/Florida border to the Alabama/Mississippi border.

Pilot Flying J currently has three of its locations closed in preparation for the hurricane. The locations in Marianna, Midway, and Quincy – all three located in Florida – are closed at the time of publication. Pilot Flying J is maintaining an updated list of closures on its website. Love’s Travel Stops has currently closed two of its Florida locations, in Cottondale and Mossy Head. Three additional Love’s locations are listed as being in high threat areas. An updated list of Love’s closures can be found on its website. The TravelCenters of America location in Marianna, Florida is also closed. TA is posting updates on closures on its site.