Hurricane Michael takes aim at southeast

MIAMI, Fla. (NBC News) – Florida residents are bracing for the impact of Hurricane Michael.

The storm, which reached hurricane strength Monday, is expected to quickly strengthen before making landfall as soon as Wednesday.

Forecasters say it could impact the Florida panhandle as a powerful Category 3 storm.

“Today is the time to get a plan, do not put it off,” Florida Governor Rick Scott said Monday. “There isn’t any reason not to be prepared and not to keep your family safe.”

Scott has declared a state of emergency for 26 counties and activated 5,000 members of the National Guard in advance of the storm.

“Storm surge, rain, floods, tornadoes, you’ve got to follow the weather and when they say evacuate, you’ve got to evacuate,” he warned.

As much as a foot of rain is expected in some areas.

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