"My God it's scary".
US Rep. Neal Dunn, whose district includes Panama City, urged people under evacuation orders to get out before tropical-storm-force winds arrived. I don't know where they are. "Do not risk your life, leave NOW if you were told to do so", the NWS in Tallahassee, Florida, tweeted Wednesday morning. "We're seeing up to nine feet of inundation in parts of Apalachicola, Florida, and that wasn't even where Michael made landfall".
"It feels like you don't know when the next tree is going to fall on top of you because it's blowing so ferociously", said Port St Joe Mayor Bo Patterson.
"I really fear for what things are going to look like there tomorrow at this time", Colorado State University hurricane expert Phil Klotzbach said in an email. It's very, very scary.
A possible catastrophic landfall with destructive storm surge, winds and rain on the Florida Panhandle near Panama City is now predicted around 3 p.m.
An estimated 375,000 people in more than 20 counties were ordered or advised to evacuate.
"You haven't got anywhere to go (if the bridges close)", he said Tuesday.
President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration for the state, freeing up federal funds for relief operations and providing the assistance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
As of 5 p.m. EDT, Michael is still a Category 3 major hurricane with its peak winds measuring 125 miles per hour. Duke said Tuesday night, it expected 100,000 to 200,000 customers to lose power. Michael did this after passing over unusually warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, which likely helped to increase the storm's moisture content and provide fuel for more intense thunderstorms, a deeper central pressure, and stronger winds.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the Category 4 storm has maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour (230 kph) and is moving at 13 miles per hour (20 kph). It was the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S.in almost 50 years.
Still, travelers to the region should monitor flights on Wednesday and Thursday to make sure Michael doesn't bring disruptions further inland. That ranked as the most expensive storm in U.S. history, until Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans and pummeled other parts of the U.S. South in 2005.
According to forecasters, Hurricane Michael is expected to be move towards northeast Georgia, Carolinas on Thursday while local weather department has predicted that it will be above Mid-Atlantic coast on Friday.
Helen Neal, 88, and her husband, J.W. Neal, 87, preferred to take their chances in a hotel rather than in their two-story beachfront house about a mile away in Panama City. "Don't think that you can ride this out if you're in a low-lying area", Nelson said on CNN.