Ken Graham, director of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, said Michael is "unfortunately, a historical and incredibly unsafe and life-threatening situation".
Even before landfall, the hurricane disrupted energy operations in the Gulf, cutting crude oil production by more than 40 percent and natural gas output by almost one-third as offshore platforms were evacuated before the storm hit. "SEEK REFUGE IMMEDIATELY", Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted, while the sheriff in Panama City's Bay County issued a shelter-in-place order before dawn. "Multiple state and federal resources are staged and ready to respond as soon as it is safe".
Residents in Bristol, Florida, returned home to survey damage left by Hurricane Michael.
The storm appeared to be so powerful - with a central pressure dropping to 933 millibars - that it is expected to remain a hurricane as it moves over Georgia early Thursday.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for.
The NHC predicts "the centre of Michael is expected to cross inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night and Thursday".
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) described Michael as "potentially catastrophic". In Lynn Haven, north of Panama City, he described finding one woman curled up in a fetal position in a garage with a tree over her head - a "very risky, sketchy situation", he said. Many trees are waterlogged due to the excessive rainfall from this past summer. A neighbor told McCall that all the docks in the area were destroyed and many people are stuck in their homes as the roads have been blocked with debris. "Trees are top heavy as a result", AccuWeather's Marshall Moss said. Forecasters warned of up to 30cm of rain in western Cuba, triggering flash floods and mudslides in mountain areas.
Trump said later from the rally, "Our thoughts and prayers on behalf of the nation to everyone out there in the path of Hurricane Michael". By 8 a.m. Tuesday, top winds had reached 100 miles per hour (155 kph), and it was forecast to strengthen more, with winds topping 111 miles per hour (179 kph), capable of causing devastating damage.
About 3,500 Florida National Guard troops were deployed, along with more than 1,000 search-and-rescue personnel, Governor Scott said.
Hurricane Michael is continuing to strengthen, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center's (NHC) latest 11 a.m. update on October 9.
There are several live video feeds available to watch as Hurricane Michael makes landfall on Florida's Panhandle on Wednesday, Oct. 10. A few blocks inland, about half the homes were reduced to piles of wood and siding and those still standing suffered heavy damage.
Even before Michael made full landfall, it was whipping trees with its winds and had caused flooding in the town of Apalachicola, where more than five feet of water was reported, and in Port St. Joe. Homes were split open by fallen trees.
"I know you just want to go home". It's very, very scary.
While we might not get more storms in a warmer climate, most studies show storms will get stronger and produce more rain.
In the small Panhandle city of Apalachicola, Mayor Van Johnson Sr. said the 2,300 residents were frantically preparing for what could be a strike unlike any seen there in decades.
Michael had rapidly intensified as it churned north over the Gulf of Mexico in recent days, growing from a tropical storm into a Category 4 hurricane in about 40 hours and catching many by surprise.