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Hurricane Michael is expected to hit the Florida panhandle as a major storm on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 10) - and USA weather satellites are busy watching the storm to help meteorologists keep people safe.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has issued a state of emergency for 26 counties.

Forecasters said parts of Florida's marshy, lightly populated Big Bend area - the crook of Florida's elbow - could see up to 12 feet of storm surge. "You need to evacuate if you're ordered to do so".

There were mandatory evacuation orders for 120,000 people in Panama City Beach and other low-lying parts of the Gulf Coast. "The state is not taking this storm lightly and neither should any family".

As of the 8 a.m. advisory, Michael was 395 miles south of Panama City, moving north-northwest at 12 mph. A Category 3 storm has sustained winds of 111-129 miles per hour. "That means the water will come miles in shore and could easily be over the roofs of houses", Scott said.

Hurricane Michael became a Category 3 storm with 120 miles per hour maximum sustained winds on October 9.

"You will see damage to infrastructure".

The Federal Emergency Management Agency had numerous teams deployed and ready to respond, said FEMA spokesman Jeff Byard.

"#HurricaneMichael isn't heading to any one town.", the National Weather Service tweeted Monday. The Florida National Guard has over 4,000 more Guard members available for deployment, Scott said.

As with any hurricane that makes landfall, there will be the risk of tornadoes being spawned.

A hurricane Warning was issued from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to Suwannee River.

Meanwhile, tropical storm warnings extend from Florida's Chassahowitzka River to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

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I mean, it's an incredible amount of water, life-threatening situation when it comes to the water.

The storm is threatening risky surges to low-lying areas ill-equipped to handle them.

"It's closer to Africa than the Lesser Antilles right now", Bridges said. "And then you're riding it out in your vehicle instead of something else".

Yes, really, some of that tide going on just adds some more water to the whole situation, because when we really look at this, we have the rainfall threat, of course, that we have been looking at, but look at these values related to your question.

Scott extended a state of emergency to 35 counties and activated 2,500 National Guardsmen. The NHC said that it could hit anywhere along the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area.

The hurricane forced Benny and Cindy Guinn to get married a day earlier. Landfall is expected Wednesday on Florida's northeast Gulf Coast.

Gillum said Monday that officials initially thought, "we will have outages and it will be inconvenient".

"If they decide to stay, there will be a point where we can't get to them", Couch said. Many filled sandbags, boarded up homes and lined up to buy gas and groceries. Lines at gasoline stations were growing as people prepared to leave.

"Since 6:00 am it's been backed up".

In Alabama, the entire state was under an emergency declaration.

Tropical Storm Leslie could once again redevelop into a hurricane as it spins in the open Atlantic. Some southern Alabama counties were under a tropical storm watch Monday afternoon. Then it is forecast to lash the southeastern United States through Thursday.

The NHC warned that both could trigger deadly flooding, and that residents within the hurricane warning zone should likewise "prepare for life-threatening winds".