Heavy rains are forecast for the Carolinas, which were drenched by Hurricane Florence last month.
According to NOAA's National Hurricane Center, Michael "is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night, Oct. 10 and Thursday, Oct. 11".
After ripping through Florida, FEMA warned that Hurricane Michael could cause flash flooding throughout Alabama, Georgia, and North and SC.
Wind gusts could range between 30-60 miles per hour, knocking down trees and power lines, causing widespread outages.
At 5 a.m., the center of the hurricane was bearing down on a stretch of the Florida Panhandle, still about 140 miles (225 kilometers) from Panama City and 130 miles (209 kilometers) from Apalachicola, but moving relatively fast at 13 mph (21 kph).
"Those that have chosen not to evacuate and they're on our coast, it's too late", Scott said on Fox & Friends. Evacuations spanned 22 counties from the Florida Panhandle into north central Florida. But civilians don't have to follow orders, and authorities feared many failed to heed their calls to get out of the way as the hard-charging storm intensified over 84-degree Gulf of Mexico water.
"I guess it's the worst case scenario".
"I just think that people don't realize the risk of this", he said.
Downed trees will block access to roads and endanger individuals, as well as winds which cause structural damage to homes and businesses.
"Outer band of Hurricane Michael coming ashore here", Jon Ward in Panama City said on Twitter.
University of Georgia's Marshall Shepherd, a former president of the American Meteorological Society, called it a "life-altering event" on Facebook and said he watched the storm's growth on satellite images with a pit growing in his stomach.
According to NHC, the worst storm surge is expected between Mexico Beach and Keaton Beach in Florida where nine to 13 feet of inundation is possible.
The hurricane is expected to make landfall Wednesday, with population centers like Panama City and Tallahassee sitting in its path.
With the storm approaching ever closer, Gov. Scott warned that first responders will no longer be able to make it to evacuation zones.
The storm will drift into the Mid-Atlantic States and out to sea by Friday.