Following Hurricane Irma a year ago, 14 people died when a South Florida nursing home lost power and air conditioning.
Michael's barometric pressure at landfall was 919 millibars, by that measurement the third-strongest hurricane to hit the US on record, trailing on the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969.
Pine trees litter a yard in Port St. Joe, Fla., on Garrison Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, after Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle.
It could be the strongest hurricane to hit the Florida panhandle in recorded history. It then roared north through southwest Georgia and on Thursday moved into North and SC, states that are still reeling from historic flooding left by Hurricane Florence last month.
In its discussion, the center said the environment ahead of Michael was conducive to intensification.
"We are in new territory", National Hurricane Center Meteorologist Dennis Feltgen wrote on Facebook.
While Florence wrung itself out for days and brought ruinous rains, fast-moving Michael is likely to be more about wind and storm surge.
The Bahamian Consulate General in Georgia advised Bahamian students to be "vigilant" as the category four hurricane churns across the southeastern United States.
Flooding is expected in parts of the state that were previously hit by deadly Hurricane Florence in September, he said.
In Cuba, it dropped more than 10 inches of rain in places, flooding fields, damaging roads, knocking out power and destroying some homes in the western province of Pinar del Rio.
There was no change in the watches and warnings lineup from the previous advisory.
Michael is the first major hurricane to blow into Georgia since the 1898. The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) officials also recommended Governor Deal to make the declaration.
Forecasters in Alabama warned of possible tornados.
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Michael, which Gov. Scott called "monstrous", made landfall with wind speeds that were almost the greatest possible for a Category 4 - 155 miles per hour. The city could face hurricane-force winds of up to 100 miles per hour - enough to knock down a lot of trees and power lines, Accuweather meteorologist Brett Rathbun warned.
It developed into a hurricane on Monday, and by Tuesday, more than 180,000 people were under mandatory evacuation orders. Bill Nelson, said a "wall of water" could cause major destruction along the Panhandle.
- Storm riders: Roughly 375,000 people in Florida warned to evacuate; many refused, including 285 people in Mexico Beach where Michael made landfall. Gulf County in the Panhandle of Florida. The soil in many areas is saturated. That included Pensacola Beach but not in Pensacola itself, a city of about 54,000.
Tallahassee, a city of 200,000, sits 100 miles east of Panama City. Popular vacation spot for both families & college students. Some beach town residents were left to decide on their own for the time being whether to leave their homes.
"It will take a long time to recover from this". "But I will confess that my biggest fear that this part of Florida, with its unique & genuine characteristics, will never be the same".
Where has Hurricane Michael hit so far?
"Those who stick around to witness storm surge don't typically live to talk about it", he said.
Those winds were tearing some buildings apart in Panama City Beach. "It was too late", Swab said. "You just don't know when the next one is going down. I don't suggest trying to ride out a storm". Southern Bay County in the Panhandle of Florida.
- Power outages: Roughly a million customers in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and SC without power.
More than 30,000 workers from at least 24 states have been mobilized to restore power, officials said.
"If you decide to stay in your home and a tree falls on your house or the storm surge catches you and you're now calling for help, there's no one that can respond to help you, " Morgan said at a news conference.
The unexpected brute quickly sprang from a weekend tropical depression, reaching Category 4 early Wednesday as it drew energy from the Gulf's 84-degree waters.
The storm "grew into a monster", Trump said Wednesday from the Oval Office. We will continue to monitor Hurricane Michael's path and GEMA/HS is leading our preparedness efforts.