The National Weather Service says "a potentially catastrophic event is developing" as Hurricane Michael reached category 3 status Tuesday afternoon with maximum winds of 120 miles per hour.
Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Panhandle and the Big Bend region of the Sunshine State.
Forecasters say Michael could bring a storm surge of up to 13 feet in some areas, as well as up to a foot of rain.
Michael's maximum winds may increase to 125 miles per hour before landfall, warns the National Hurricane Center.
The storm could also spawn tornadoes tonight and tomorrow over parts of Florida and southern Georgia.
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