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Hurricane Michael Photos Show ‘Monstrous’ Storm Surge Pummeling FL Panhandle

As Hurricane Michael barreled through the Gulf of Mexico toward northwest Florida on Wednesday, dangerous storm surges had already begun flooding the state’s vulnerable coastal communities.

In St. Marks, roughly 20 miles south of Tallahassee, photos showed rising waters pouring into homes and businesses as early as Wednesday morning. 

“Flooding underway already in St. Marks and it’s low tide,” tweeted NPR’s Miami correspondent Greg Allen. “And the hurricane is still hours away.” 

Michael intensified to a Category 4 early Wednesday with winds of 155 mph, making it the most powerful storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in 100 years.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 14 feet are expected in some areas, the National Weather Service warned Wednesday. “THIS IS A WORST CASE SCENARIO for the Florida Panhandle!!” the agency tweeted.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has urged anyone in an evacuation zone to leave immediately, calling the storm “monstrous” and “deadly.”

Check out the photos below to see the early devastation wrought by Michael:

Flood waters hit the Cooter Stew Cafe in Saint Marks, Florida, on Oct. 10, 2018, as Hurricane Michael pushes the storm surge


Mark Wallheiser via Getty Images

Flood waters hit the Cooter Stew Cafe in Saint Marks, Florida, on Oct. 10, 2018, as Hurricane Michael pushes the storm surge up the Wakulla and Saint Marks rivers, which come together in the town.

Mitchell Pope tries to salvage what he can from his mobile home on Oct. 10 in Saint Marks.


Mark Wallheiser via Getty Images

Mitchell Pope tries to salvage what he can from his mobile home on Oct. 10 in Saint Marks.

Bo Lynn's Market starts taking water in the town of Saint Marks on Oct. 10.


Mark Wallheiser via Getty Images

Bo Lynn’s Market starts taking water in the town of Saint Marks on Oct. 10.

Waves wash over a house as Hurricane Michael comes ashore in Alligator Point, Florida, on Oct. 10.


Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Waves wash over a house as Hurricane Michael comes ashore in Alligator Point, Florida, on Oct. 10.

Waves crash along a pier as Hurricane Michael approaches Panama City Beach, Florida, on Oct. 10.


Jonathan Bachman / Reuters

Waves crash along a pier as Hurricane Michael approaches Panama City Beach, Florida, on Oct. 10.

Lenora Adams loads up her dog as she evacuates a motel in Panacea, Florida, on Oct. 10.


Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Lenora Adams loads up her dog as she evacuates a motel in Panacea, Florida, on Oct. 10.

A message has been written on a closed business as Hurricane Michael approaches Panama City Beach, Florida, on Oct. 10.


Jonathan Bachman / Reuters

A message has been written on a closed business as Hurricane Michael approaches Panama City Beach, Florida, on Oct. 10.

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