PANAMA CITY, Florida — The National Hurricane Center says Michael's eye has crossed from the Florida Panhandle into southwestern Georgia as a dangerous Category 3 storm, the strongest to hit that part of the state in recorded history.
Maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph) were recorded in Seminole County, Georgia, Wednesday evening. The storm made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, as a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane earlier Wednesday afternoon.
According to a 6 p.m. advisory, the storm was located 20 miles (32 kilometers) west-northwest of Bainbridge, Georgia, and 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Albany, Georgia. It was moving north-northeast at 13 mph (21 kph).
Dangerous storm surge continues along the coast of the Florida Panhandle.
Forecasters say storm surge waters are beginning to recede, but some normally dry areas near the coast will continue to be flooded.
Hurricane Michael went from a 90 mph storm to a 155 mph monster in just 33 hours. Warm water, moist air and ideal wind patterns turbocharged Hurricane Michael before it slammed Florida's Panhandle Wednesday.
Recent studies show that Atlantic storms have been strengthening faster over the past 30 years.