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Georgia governor warns of serious damage from Hurricane Michael

Heavy surf from the approaching Hurricane Michael pounds the fishing pier on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. (Devon Ravine/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

PANAMA CITY, Florida (AP) - Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said Hurricane Michael is "unlike any storm that we have had in anybody's memory."

He says this one will inflict serious damage across central and southern Georgia, and he's calling on people to protect themselves, their families, and anyone who needs assistance.

More than 1,200 evacuees are staying in Georgia state parks, which are waiving entrance fees for those seeking shelter.

The storm also is expected to ravage the state's peanut, pecan and cotton crops.

U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said Michael is "a hurricane of the worst kind."

He said there are about 3,000 FEMA employees in the field, plus aircraft and search and rescue teams staged to move into Florida and Georgia as well.

The citizens in Georgia need to wake up and pay attention," Long said. He says this hurricane will likely be the worst storm that anyone in southwest and central Georgia will have seen in decades.

Long applauded local officials who urged evacuations, and said "people are going to die as a result of not heeding the warnings."

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