In a Facebook post Monday, the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office said no shelters would be open in Wakulla County because Michael was forecast to become a major hurricane with winds topping 111 miles per hour (178 kph).
The Category 2 storm, which has already disrupted oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, strengthened as it headed north, carrying winds of 110 miles per hour (175 km per hour).
The storm became a category 1 hurricane on Monday, and could be a category 2 or 3 storm by the time it hits Florida.
"#Michael could be one of the worst hurricanes to ever strike the Florida Big Bend/Florida Panhandle region", he warned. "Residents and businesses in coastal Alabama must be vigilant and closely monitor the storm's path and be prepared for a major hurricane". If the forecast is correct, Michael would be the 11th major hurricane to hit Florida in October since records began in 1851, Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach said.
Past year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Hurricane Harvey - causing a record-equaling $125 billion in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.
Michael was now a category one hurricane.
Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for residents of barrier islands, mobile homes and low-lying coastal areas in Gulf, Wakulla and Bay counties.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect from the Alabama/Florida border to Suwannee River, Florida.
Gulf County officials issued a mandatory evacuation for all of Cape San Blas, all of Indian Pass area, Simmons Bayou, Highland View, and Windmark.
The heavy rains could cause flash floods, the NHC said, and spawn tornados in northwestern Florida.
The NHC said some areas of the Florida coast could expect storm surge of nine to 13 feet, and as much as a foot of rain.
Hurricane Michael has grown stronger as it moves toward a landfall in the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, with its maximum sustained winds reaching 110 miles per hour. He also has declared a state of emergency for 35 counties and asked President Donald Trump for assistance ahead of the storm.
"We can take quite a bit of rain, but the folks in the Carolinas can't right now", Orrock said.
Michael wasn't quite done wreaking havoc in the Caribbean on Tuesday.
The storm surge in some places in Florida could reach more than 10 feet, the NHC warned. The center of Michael's eye is then expected to move 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, and move off the Mid-Atlantic coast away from the United States on Friday.
Local authorities are stressing timely evacuation, too.
Hurricane Michael will be a major hurricane when it arrives at the Florida coast sometime Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center says.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Florida's Democratic nominee for governor, filled sandbags with residents and urged residents of the state capital city to finish up emergency preparations quickly.
Roads could be blocked, trees uprooted and power cut for days in what could be the strongest storm seen in the region since Hurricane Dennis in 2005.
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