The National Hurricane Center says the core of Michael will move across central and eastern Georgia Thursday morning, and then over southern and central SC later in the day.
By 5 a.m., Michael's eye was about 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of Augusta, Georgia, packing top winds of 50 mph (80 kph) and moving at 21 mph (33 kph) into SC, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
"It's hard to convey in words the scale of the catastrophe in Panama City".
Damage in Panama City, just west of where Michael came ashore Wednesday afternoon, was so extensive that broken and uprooted trees and downed power lines lay almost everywhere.
14 feet: The maximum height forecast for the storm surge when Michael's strong winds pushed the ocean water onto land.
Shredded trees, derailed train cars and a sunken trailer are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.
Horrifying aerial video recorded the devastating impact of Michael's passage on Panama City where the now-downgraded tropical storm sheared trees and twisted roofs.
The storm has killed at least two people, including one child, according to reports.
President Donald Trump has been in touch with state governors and said a federal emergency team is standing by and ready to help with storm recovery. "The historical record, going back to 1851, finds no Category 4 hurricane ever hitting the Florida panhandle".
A hurricane warning remains in place from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida.
Gen, Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said some Florida residents may have been taken by surprise by the rapid escalation of the storm. "We haven't seen as robust of an evacuation response from the civilian population that we have seen in other storms". Scientists say global warming is responsible for more intense and more frequent extreme weather, such as storms, droughts, floods and fires, and Michael was fueled by abnormal water temperatures in the Gulf - 4-to-5 degrees above the historic norm for this time of year.
The latest update from the NHC cites still Category 3 sustained winds and at this time hurricane Michael is moving towards Georgia, which is unusual but due to the late intensification and fast movement of the storm not entirely unexpected.
-Strorm riders: Roughly 375,000 people in Florida warned to evacuate; many refused.
Residents who are still in Florida are being battered by Hurricane Michael, which made landfall Wednesday afternoon. "This happened so quickly", he said.
Charlotte is expected to get about 3.7 inches of rain Thursday, with about an inch more to the north and west in towns including Statesville, Gastonia and Salisbury.
The Carolinas are still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which left dozens dead and is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in damage last month. Neighborhood streets flooded as waves battered the shoreline. Even with all of those warnings, more than 15 million Floridians lost power during that hurricane.