Rick Scott posted a series of tweets warning residents to prepare and evacuate. He specifically pointed to forecasts of 8-12 feet of storm surge that could reach miles in from shore. "We can rebuild your home, but we cannot rebuild your life", Scott said. "Do not think you can survive it".
Michael is the 13th named storm of the 2018 hurricane season, according to hurricane center spokesman Dennis Feltgen.
However, Masson says despite the shorter time frame, Michael will still produce heavy amounts of rain.
He said: "Today is about life and safety".
As Michael's eye moves inland, storm surge is likely to be the primary danger for coastal residents.
"There's nothing between us and this storm but warm water and I think that's what terrifies us about the potential impacts".
In neighbouring Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey declared an emergency for the entire state on Monday in anticipation of wind damage, heavy rains and power outages.
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Winds become westerly late Thursday night into Friday morning, remaining 40 to 50 knots with gusts to 60 knots, until the center of Michael moves off the coast near the North Carolina/Virginia border Friday morning.
DHSMV's Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobiles are on standby to respond to impacted areas as soon as the storm passes.
The expected path for Hurricane Michael as of October 9, 2018.
As of 2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the storm had sustained winds of 155 miles per hour and a central pressure that makes it the third-strongest storm to ever hit the US. The storm is moving north at seven miles per hour, and packing maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour. "Tropical storm conditions are expected across the remainder of the warning areas in Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula through tonight", the center said.
Interested in Hurricane Michael?
"Michael could produce three life-threatening hazards along portions of the northeastern Gulf Coast: storm surge, heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds", according to the hurricane center.
A hurricane Warning was issued from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to Suwannee River.
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In the White House transcript, the president's audible slight to Vega is edited . "I'd be the world's worst!" "I'd be a mess". When the president called upon Vega, he suggested she was "shocked" to have been picked for a question.
Gov. Rick Scott warned it could be "life-threatening and risky".
"Take this seriously and keep your family safe", Scott said from Bay County on Monday.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement's (FDLE) Mutual Aid team is communicating with law enforcement partners and participating in regular conference calls with the State Emergency Operations Center.
A tropical storm watch was also issued from the Suwanee River to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay. Scott is urging people along the Gulf Coast to finish their storm preparations Monday evening.
More evacuations are likely, although the storm's rapid formation, intensification and quicktime march to the north have limited officials' response time.
Tropical Storm Michael had maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour as of Monday morning but was expected to become a hurricane later in the day.
The sheriff's office says Wakulla County shelters were rated safe only for hurricanes below that threshold.
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President Trump, speaking at a law enforcement convention in Florida, said his administration is prepared to deal with the impacts of Hurricane Michael.