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As Hurricane Michael Bears Down, Many Along Gulf Coast Remain In Harm's Way

Emily Mahoney Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau
Jenna Clark, left, pets her family's pit bull, Buster, with a friend. Clark, 18, said her family will stay in their mobile home in Panacea during Hurricane Michael.

PANACEA -- The muggy air hung heavy over the small Gulf Coast town of Panacea on Tuesday as Hurricane Michael churned toward the Florida Panhandle. Grey clouds glided quickly across the sky over the main street’s shuddered seafood shacks.

Storm surges, combined with the new moon tide, were expected to rise in this area anywhere from nine to 13 feet. By Tuesday afternoon, sheriff’s deputies had already knocked on doors twice. The first time, it was to urge people to leave. The second: taking down the information and next-of-kin of those who remained — of which there are many.

Mandatory evacuation orders were in full effect for coastal areas like Panacea in Wakulla County. In total, 13 Florida counties issued mandatory evacuations, some applying to the entire county while others were only for areas most vulnerable to the storm surge.

Read more at our news partner, The Miami Herald.