Hurricane Michael raced toward the Florida Panhandle on Tuesday, threatening to bring the ferocious rains and winds of a powerful tropical cyclone to the coast and hundreds of miles inland.
The storm is expected to make landfall over the Panhandle on Wednesday as a major hurricane, with wind speeds of at least 111 miles per hour. Some counties have issued evacuation orders, and shelters have been opened.
Beyond destructive winds, the authorities said they feared torrential rains and perhaps 12 feet of storm surge. In an area that just two years earlier saw tremendous electrical disruptions from Hurricane Hermine, public officials and power companies face enormous pressure to keep the lights on, or restore service quickly.