The storm is scheduled to hit the Florida coast Wednesday then will hit Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas Wednesday night and Thursday, the AP reported.
About 120,000 people are under evacuation orders in Bay County, Florida. And county officials have advised them that they need to leave earlier rather than later. If anyone decides to stay, officials say stock up on supplies and “don’t expect the government to help take care of you. You need to take care of yourselves.”
Update 2:12 a.m. EDT Oct. 9: Hurricane Michael "has changed little in strength during the past few hours," the National Hurricane Center said in its 2 a.m. advisory.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 90 mph and is about 455 miles south of Panama City and 425 miles south of Apalachicola. It is moving north-northwest at 12 mph, the advisory said.
A State of Emergency was issued in 26 counties as Florida’s State Emergency Response Team projected Michael will make landfall as a 115 mph Category 3 hurricane and could continuing intensifying over the next 36 hours.
#HurricaneMichael is currently projected to make landfall as a 115 mph Category 3 hurricane with potential life-threatening storm surge. Rapid intensification is possible over the next 36 hours right up until landfall. Heed all orders from your local emergency officials. #alert
A hurricane warning is posted for parts of the Gulf Coast, and the National Hurricane Center is warning of dangerous winds that are expected to move inland as the storm makes landfall, extending across parts of the Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia and southeast Alabama.
The storm is expected to produce heavy rains and dangerous flash flooding.
Update 5:23 p.m. EDT Oct. 8: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Michael barreled north toward the Gulf coast, AL.com reported.
"Tomorrow we will start seeing the effects of Michael and those in its path will need to take shelter by tomorrow evening," the governor said in a news release. "Please stay weather aware today and tomorrow for any forecast changes. Most importantly, heed all warnings and instructions from local authorities."
The storm is expected to cause heavy rain, high winds and power outages in Alabama AL.com reported.
Update 5:02 p.m. EDT Oct. 8: Hurricane Michael is bringing hurricane-force winds to the western tip of Cuba, according to the 5 p.m. advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center.
The storm was moving north at 9 mph and had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph.
The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River. A tropical storm warning was issued from the Alabama-Florida border west to the Mississippi state line and from the Suwannee River to the Chassahowitzka River. A tropical storm watch was issued from the Chassahowitzka River to Anna Maria Island near Bradenton, Florida, and from the Alabama-Mississippi border west to the Pearl River.
Update 2:48 p.m. EDT Oct. 8: Mandatory evacuations have been ordered by the Bay County Commission in advance of Hurricane Michael. The evacuation order tells those living in Zones A, B, and C in the evacuation zone map must leave their homes starting at daylight Tuesday, the Panama City News Herald reported.
Click here to see what areas are under the evacuation order and how to proceed.
Update 2:15 p.m. EDT Oct. 8: President Donald Trump says that the administration will be ready when Hurricane Michael makes landfall.
During his comments to a convention of chiefs of police being held in Orlando, Trump said, his administration is working with local and state officials in Florida and are urging everyone in the path of the storm to prepare and listen to local officials, CNN reported.
Trump also said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been briefed in advance of the storm, CNN reported.
Earlier in the day, Florida Gov. Rick Scott called up 500 members of the Florida National Guard to help with preparations and get ready for the storm to hit.
“We are well-equipped, with assets including high water vehicles, helicopters, boats and generators,” the governor’s office announced.
But Florida isn't the only state preparing for the worst. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has raised the Texas State Operations Center preparedness from "normal conditions" to increased readiness." He has told residents in the state to prepare for flash flooding and heavy rains as Hurricane Michael moves across the Gulf of Mexico, CNN reported.
Update 11:00 a.m. EDT Oct. 8: Hurricane Michael is continuing to strengthen. The National Hurricane Center says that life-threatening storm surge could hit part of the Florida Gulf Coast. It is expected to bring with heavy rainfall and hurricane force winds. Residents are being advised to listen to local officials when it comes to preparing for the storm.
#Michael could produce three life-threatening hazards along portions of the northeastern Gulf Coast: storm surge, heavy rainfall, and hurricane-force winds, with storm surge and hurricane watches in effect. Residents in these areas should follow advice given by local officials. pic.twitter.com/JZENNHSQTK
Update 7:58 a.m. EDT Oct. 8: Tropical Storm Michael is "expected to become a hurricane very soon" and is pounding western Cuba with heavy rain and strong winds, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 a.m. EDT advisory.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and is about 120 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and 70 miles south of Cuba's western tip. It is moving north at 7 mph, the advisory said.
Tropical Storm Michael expected to become hurricane very soon near Florida, USA. Se espera que la Tormenta Tropical Michael se convierta en huracán muy pronto cerca de Florida, EEUU. #prwx#usviwxpic.twitter.com/ISr8trjnxD
Original story: Tropical Depression No. 14 strengthened into Tropical Storm Michael on Sunday afternoon and is heading for the Florida Panhandle, the NHC said.
Michael was moving in a northeasterly direction at 3 mph with wind speeds of 50 mph late Sunday afternoon.
Current models put the storm on track for a landfall Wednesday or Thursday morning in Florida’s Panhandle.
Remnants of the storm could blow through parts of North and South Carolina, already devastated by last month’s powerful Hurricane Florence, according to some computer models.
Tropical storm warnings were posted for western Cuba, Jamaica and parts of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the National Weather Service reported. A warning means tropical storm conditions, including gusty winds and strong surf, is expected within 24 hours.