ARLINGTON, Va. - Governors in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina have declared states of emergency prior to the landfall of Hurricane Michael, which is expected to hit Florida's Panhandle on Wednesday as a dangerous Category 4 storm, packing fierce winds of approximately 140 mph and triggering massive storm surges.

"The time for evacuating along the coast has come and gone. First responders will not be able to come out in the middle of the storm. If you chose to stay in an evacuation zone, you must SEEK REFUGE IMMEDIATELY," Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted early Wednesday morning.