The National Hurricane Center says the storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 150 mph at its center. 

Hurricane Michael: Here’s what Macon can expect

Macon, Georgia, is under a tropical storm warning, flash flood watch and tornado watch as Hurricane Michael makes landfall on the Florida coast.

» RELATED: Gov. Deal expands state of emergency as ‘very dangerous’ Hurricane Michael menaces Georgia

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is covering the preparation and response to Hurricane Michael with reporters and photographers tracking developments as they happen. Come back to to keep up with Georgia’s weather, storm damage, and alerts from officials on how to keep your family safe.

» RELATED: Here’s what’s closed in Georgia ahead of Hurricane Michael

Macon-Bibb Emergency Management Agency is asking residents to "shelter in place" once Michael moves into Middle Georgia. Sustained winds of up to 45 MPH, with gusts approaching 60 MPH, are expected beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing into Thursday morning, with the brunt of the storm passing through between 2 and 4 a.m. Anywhere from 3 to 6 inches of rain is expected, according to the National Weather Service. But the high winds pose the biggest threat in this heavily wooded area of the state said Chris Floyd of the local EMA.  

“There's a real potential this could still be a Category 1 Hurricane when it hits Macon,” Floyd said. “We anticipate it'll be stronger than Irma.”  

Tropical Storm Irma, which swept through Macon-Bibb last September, left 100,000 cubic yards of debris in its wake, closing 229 roads and even knocking over a church steeple. Floyd said Michael's impact could result in several days of clean-up and several days without power for many residents. 

With Irma's memory still fresh, Maconites seem to be taking the warnings seriously. But for those who haven't prepared, time is running out. "Where you have dinner is where you should stay tonight," Floyd said.

» RELATED: Hurricane tracker: Where is Hurricane Michael now?

As the rain picked up outside, the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Macon was nearly bone dry inside as shoppers demonstrated a heavy thirst for water late Wednesday afternoon. Christian Boone/AJC
Photo: Christian Boone

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