Hunkered down in the Panhandle

Strong Category 4 Hurricane Michael just roared ashore on a stretch of beautiful, wild Florida coastline. We’re hoping for the best but—like everyone else—awaiting news, with heavy hearts for residents in the path of the storm.

Homes and businesses in Mexico Beach and Pt. St. Joe, along the eastern eyewall, have likely borne the greatest damage from winds approaching 150 mph. Panama City, an urban and suburban metro area, was also subject to severe winds. So too tiny Wewahitchka, just 20 miles inland, on the Apalachicola River, a rural town which hosts catfish tournaments each year. Storm surges were still rising east of landfall—likely affecting a wide range of the Florida Big Bend coast. Southwest winds following the storm will continue moving water well into the night Wednesday.

    Live from Panama City, Florida as Hurricane Michael approaches. Streaming from TIME Magazine, footage courtesy of EarthCam and AP

Florida Sportsman has magazine contributors in Panama City, Apalachicola, Tallahassee, and in the hours and days to come we’ll be working to bring updates. We’ll be attentive to intel from marinas and other outdoors-recreation services in Mexico Beach, Panama City, Port St. Joe, Apalachicola and other areas. And, of course, we’re ready to communicate relevant relief needs.

A number of state parks in the affected area were closed:

Check out Reed Timmer, a meteorologist for Accuweather who is posting updates on his social media outlets

CNN has already posted a deeply concerning photo gallery showing devastation within just hours of landfall.

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