Hurricane Michael takes aim at Florida Panhandle, prompting evacuations

Florida evacuations ordered
Florida evacuations ordered 01:36

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — As Hurricane Michael aims for the Florida Panhandle, people are boarding up and moving out. Traffic slowed to a crawl on a coastal highway in Panama City Beach as many people tried to heed Florida Gov. Rick Scott's warning to get out before it's too late.

"Hurricane Michael is forecasted to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades," Scott said. "This storm will be life threatening and extremely dangerous."

Tracking Hurricane Michael 01:39

In Seaside, Florida, coastal businesses are boarding up. Throughout the Panhandle, bag after bag is being filled with sand, as wary homeowners like Mark Schneider brace for the worst.

"Unfortunately, it looks like it's coming directly at us and all you can do is prepare," he said.

Hurricane Michael gained strength as it blew through Cancun and western Cuba. On Monday afternoon, choppy surf crashed along the shores of Franklin County, Florida.

All day, long lines wrapped around fuel stations, as people filled up their cars and gas cans.

Scott already declared a state of emergency and has activated over 1,200 National Guard members.

"Take this seriously and keep your family safe," Scott said.

The storm could strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane Tuesday, and could hit the Panhandle by Wednesday.

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    Omar Villafranca is a CBS News correspondent based in Dallas.