By EMILY CRANE and ARIEL ZILBER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and ASSOCIATED PRESS
Hurricane Michael has been strengthened into a Category 4 storm early on Wednesday, just hours before it is expected to plow into Florida's Gulf shore with towering waves and roof-shredding winds.
Mass evacuations have been ordered as a 'monstrous' Hurricane Michael strengthened into a Category 2 storm on Tuesday with top wind speeds of 110 mph as it continued to intensify on its path toward the Florida Panhandle
At 5am local time, the center of the hurricane was bearing down on a stretch of the Florida Panhandle, still about 140 miles from Panama City and 130 milesfrom Apalachicola, but moving relatively fast at 13 mph.
Tropical-storm force winds extending 185 miles from the center are already lashing the coast, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
More than 375,000 people in 22 counties are under evacuation orders and advisories as Michael is expected to become one of the Florida Panhandle's worst hurricanes in living memory.About to hit: This graphic shows the route and strength of Hurricane Michael
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