As the storm sets its sights on the Florida panhandle, it intensifies into a category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds.
As mandatory evacuation orders went into effect Tuesday morning for Panama City Beach and across other low-lying parts of the coast, Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 35 counties, from the Panhandle to Tampa Bay. This also activated hundreds of Florida National Guard members and waived tolls to encourage evacuations.
The Pasco County Board of County Commissioners has issued a Local State of Emergency for Pasco County ahead of Hurricane Michael.
Pasco County is recommending voluntary evacuations for certain residents of Pasco County.
- Affected Evacuation Areas: Voluntary evacuation order for anyone living west of U.S. 19 in areas vulnerable to potential storm surge | Special Needs Residents living west of U.S. 19 | Anyone in low-lying areas along rivers or inland areas that have experienced flooding in the past | Anyone living in a building that has experienced flooding following heavy rain event.
Hernando County is under a Local State of Emergency.
- Affected Evacuation Areas: Voluntary evacuation order for coastal zone levels A and B for Tuesday beginning at 8 a.m.
Governor Scott says he is temporarily suspending tolls to make it easier for people to evacuate.
Citrus County is under a Local State of Emergency. The declaration signed by the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners for the immediate evacuation for the following:
- Affected Evacuation Areas: Zone A, and mobile homes, RVs, manufactured housing countywide.