Hurricane Michael escalated to a Category 3 storm Tuesday afternoon ahead of its predicted direct hit on the Florida panhandle. The expected Wednesday morning landfall will likely bring "damaging winds," flooding, and a "life-threatening storm surge" to more than 300 miles of the Florida coast, per the National Weather Service. The storm bombarded western Cuba with wind and rain on Monday, and is gathering steam as it heads across the Gulf of Mexico. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has issued evacuation orders in several coastal counties, calling the storm "deadly," and President Trump has declared a state of emergency across the state.

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