As of 11 p.m. EDT, Michael was moving north at 12 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour.
The Florida Disaster website on October 9 said that parts or all of Bay County, Citrus County, Franklin County, Dixie County, Gulf County, Jackson County, Levy County, Okaloosa County, Taylor County, Wakulla County, and Walton County have been issued mandatory evacuation orders.
In Panhandle counties, most state offices, schools and universities were closed for the rest of the week.
Landfall is expected by the afternoon on Wednesday, near Panama City, FL. Storm surge could be over a foot in Panama City and massive damage there is expected.
Florida governor Rick Scott warned Tuesday morning that Hurricane Michael is forecast to be the "most destructive storm to hit the Florida panhandle in decades".
This is why we are now at a high risk of power outages across much of Middle Georgia, including Macon and Warner Robins.
People in areas that could be affected should take no chances against such a powerful surge, Scott said, adding, "No one's going to survive", such a wall of water.
More than 20 counties have been ordered to evacuate as the Category 2 storm continues to gain strength and has already disrupted oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.
Currently, Michael is located 295 miles south of Panama City, Florida, and 270 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida.
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A hurricane warning was in effect for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River, with a hurricane watch in place from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.
President Donald Trump, who was in Orlando delivering an address to a global association of police chiefs, said the federal government was ready and urged residents to be prepared for the worst.
The last major hurricane - Category 3 or above - to hit the Panhandle was Hurricane Dennis, which made landfall near Pensacola in 2005, according to hurricane center data.
Michael is predicted to become a category 3 storm, marked by torrential rains and winds in excess of 110 miles per hour.
Here are some other facts that show the power of this "monstrous storm".
Petro says the problems with Michael will be compounded since the storm is coming just weeks after Hurricane Florence. However, forecasters always note it is not possible to say where a hurricane will land until it is closer to the coast.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal on Tuesday issued a state of emergency declaration for 92 counties in the state.
A red flag, warning of risky conditions, is seen in advance of Hurricane Michael in Pensacola, Florida, U.S. October 9, 2018.
Florida has had more hurricanes in October than in any other month.