Mandatory evacuations were issued as beach dwellers rushed to board up homes just ahead of what could be a devastating hit.
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Unlike Florence, the storm is expected to move through the state quickly, leaving conditions to improve on Friday.
According to the 10 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Michael's winds had increased to 110 miles per hour and the central pressure was down to 965 millibars.
His opponent in Florida's Senate race, Sen.
It "poses a deadly threat and as it grows stronger, we can expect it make landfall as a major Category 3 storm", said Scott, warning that it "could bring total devastation to parts of our state, especially in the panhandle".
It made landfall northwest of Mexico Beach, Fla., on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale.
Experts warned Michael could dump up to a foot of rain in western Cuba, potentially triggering flash floods and mudslides in mountain areas. Authorities were also searching for a boy swept away by a river in Guatemala.
It is expected to come ashore as a major hurricane over the Florida Panhandle sometime Wednesday. It's expected to send life-threatening surges of ocean water into coastal areas along the Gulf, from Pensacola around the coast to Tampa.
Scott warned north Florida hospitals and nursing homes on Monday to do everything possible to provide for the safety of elderly and infirmed patients.
Much of the state saw the "real thing" a year ago, when Hurricane Irma force more than 6 million evacuations, flooded cities and left millions without power. Take care of them, " he said. "They are their best first responders".
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Panhandle in more than a decade.
Storm surges of up to 12 feet, which could lead to life-threatening flooding, have been predicted by the NHC on the Florida coast.
The hurricane has undergone a period of "rapid intensification", defined as a 35 mph increase in sustained winds over a 24-hour period.
"This storm has the potential to be a historic storm, please take heed, " the sheriff's office said in the post.
In Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey has placed the entire state under an emergency declaration.
"You will see damage to infrastructure, you will see power outages, and services that we are used to will be interrupted due to Hurricane Michael", he said. It was one of the most intense hurricanes ever to hit the USA mainland and the most powerful one on record to menace the Panhandle, a roughly 200-mile stretch of fishing towns, military bases and spring-break beaches.
"Folks are ready from the government side, but we need citizens to also be ready", said Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is the Democratic candidate for governor in next month's election.
But here are ten reasons to FEAR Hurricane Michael.