UPDATE 11:02 am ET : Tropical Storm Michael is now a Hurricane with winds of 75 MPH. The storm is now expected to make landfall in the US along the Florida Panhandle Wednesday with winds of 120 MPH.
10:30 am ET: A state of emergency has been declared over 26 counties in Florida as officials prepare for Tropical Storm Michael.
Michael, which formed off of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is expected to reach Hurricane status within the late hours of Monday. The storm is set to make landfall on the Northeastern US Gulf Coast by midweek. This region covers parts of Alabama to the Florida panhandle and up to North Florida’s Big Bend area.
According to CNN, The Hurricane Center expects Michael to drop off up to 12 inches of water in parts of Western Cuba and areas of Mexico’s northeastern Yucatan Peninsula within the next two days.
A Hurricane Watch has been declared for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River. Meanwhile, storm surge watches have been issued for the Mississippi-Alabama border to Tampa Bay.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Florida Governor Rick Scott is urging residents to be prepared for a “life-threatening and extremely dangerous storm.”