Authorities are warning citizens to stay inside until local officials give the all clear.
Nine counties have enacted full or limited curfews so that people stay off treacherous roads.
FULL CURFEWS: Bay, Calhoun, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson and Liberty counties LIMITED CURFEWS: Franklin, Taylor and Walton counties
Thousands of emergency responders are ready, Scott said. Florida authorities activated 3,500 soldiers and airmen for coordination and planning ahead of landfall. They're focusing on high water search and rescue operations.
Nearly 1,000 state law enforcement officers are ready to deploy to affected areas, an d 19,000 power restoration personnel were pre-positioned to respond to outages.
37 min ago
From CNN's Dave Alsup
“We got punched in the mouth on this one,” says Wakulla County Sheriff’s Captain Chris Savary describing the storm’s impact on the county.
Savary says the sheriff’s office just got their deputies into the field to assess the damage. Says they are concerned about the damage to the coastal communities Panacea, Shellpoint Beach, St. Marks, Ocholockonee Bay, and Spring Creek after a 9-foot storm surge.
Savary says he’s dealt with tropical weather systems for 20 years and “never seen a storm surge this quick or this violent.” Says Wakulla County Sheriff’s office made a list of people who stayed behind for the hurricane and will begin the process of checking on them. Says the sheriff’s office has lost their internet connection and can’t send out social media messages.
Savary says the neighboring sheriff’s department in Franklin County is fairing much worse. He’s heard they’ve lost several communication towers.
56 min ago
Aerial video shows just how strong Hurricane Michael was when it tore through a high school basketball gym in Tallahassee, Florida.
The building's sides were ripped off by the storm and its windows blown out.
1 hr 33 min ago
From CNN’s Dave Alsup, Jamiel Lynch, and Hollie Silverman
There are nearly 500,000 customers are without power across Alabama, Georgia and Florida as a result of Hurricane Michael according to utilities and emergency management.
Alabama EMA is reporting over 60,000 customers without power.
Georgia Power is reporting 42,242 customers without power.
Florida SERT is reporting 388,160 customers without power.
Key thing to know: It's important to note these are customers. If there are eight people living in a house, for example, that's just one customer, but a whole lot more people who don't have air conditioning, a means to charge their phones, or a working refrigerator tonight.
1 hr 38 min ago
Hurricane Michael is now a Category 1 storm with winds of 90 mph.
The center continues to move through southwest Georgia, and is located 20 miles from Albany, GA.
Dangerous storm surge, hurricane force winds, flash flooding, and possible tornadoes continue according to the National Hurricane Center.
But the powerful and historic Category 4 hurricane that slammed into Florida's coast is no more.
1 hr 40 min ago
From CNN’s Hollie Silverman
Governor Kay Ivey requested an emergency declaration from President Donald Trump for Hurricane Michael recovery according to a tweet from Ivey.
The declaration would allow for preemptive federal assistance for debri removal, generators and other resources according to the tweet.
1 hr 45 min ago
The White House shared a photo just now that shows President Trump talking to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on his way to a rally in Erie, PA. It also sent a photo of Trump talking to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey.
Earlier, the President said that while some had suggested he cancel tonight's rally, it wouldn't be fair to those that were in line to see him speak.
The White House said he would be taking calls on the plane, so this appears to be proof that that's exactly what the President did while en route.
1 hr 51 min ago
People look on at a store damaged by Hurricane Michael on Oct. 10, 2018 in Panama City, Florida.
The fast and furious strengthening of Hurricane Michael in recent days caught some off guard but National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini wasn’t surprised.
“We knew this was going to be a dangerous storm situation,” he told CNN Wednesday.
“It was going to develop very rapidly over very warm waters over the Gulf of Mexico. I think people have gotten used to seeing hurricanes come across the Atlantic and have five, six, seven days to be working with this.”
Gulf storms, however, intensify much more rapidly, especially in the fall.
“It doesn’t give you those four, five, six days as a hurricane to prepare for either as an agency or an as an individual,” he said.
Uccellini added, “This story isn’t over yet in terms of the impact that this storm is going to have.”