Florida, US is preparing for Hurricane Michael to make landfall today; the storm has been upgraded to a category 4, regarded as ‘extremely dangerous’.
Over 370,000 people have been ordered to evacuate and find higher ground in preparation for the arrival of the storm, which is bringing winds of 130 mph (210 km/h) and heavy rain which will likely cause major flooding. Hospitals have been closed across the state and shelters have been opened to receive people in need; Florida has officially declared a state of emergency, and the states of Alabama and Georgia have done the same.
“Hurricane Michael is forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott. “It will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous. You cannot hide from this storm.”
A number of cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival, have been forced to alter itineraries as a result of the storm, and several airports on the Gulf Coast have cancelled flights. Many airlines - including American, JetBlue and Delta - have issued waivers for affected travellers, allowing flexible re-booking for customers who were due to fly to and from cities in Michael's path, and travellers are advised to contact their airline or the travel agent that helped them book their trip.