By Michael Hernandez
Hurricane Michael continued to gain strength Tuesday, intensifying to a Category 2 storm on its way to the state of Florida’s panhandle.
The storm is moving at just 12 mph (19 kph), increasing concerns about the damage its 100 mph (160 kph) winds would bring to Florida as it heads north by northwest.
“We need to be getting ready for this,” National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said during a Facebook live presentation. “We look at the arrival of tropical storm-force winds as when we need to be ready, and guess what? That’s today.”
“Listen to those local officials. If they tell you to leave that means you’re in danger,” he said.
Officials are expecting up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain, with some areas receiving a foot.