Benson also posted a clip of the storm's winds picking up a portable toilet and sending it flying across a parking lot.
"I didn't expect all this", said Bill Manning, 63, a grocery clerk who left his camper van in Panama City, Florida, to move into a hotel where the power was already out, Reuters reported. Normal air pressure is about 1010 mb; when central pressure is significantly lower than that, things become more turbulent, with more air movement and wind kicking up.
Only three major hurricanes Category 3 or higher have struck the Panhandle since 1950: Eloise in 1975, Opal in 1995 and Dennis in 2005.
Michael's barometric pressure at landfall was 919 millibars, by that measurement the third-strongest hurricane to hit the USA on record, trailing on the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969.
If Hurricane Florence was a slow-motion train wreck, Hurricane Michael is a 4-ton wrecking ball. A National Ocean Service water level station at Apalachicola recently reported almost 5.5 feet of inundation above ground level.More news: MIT alumnus William Nordhaus wins Nobel Prize in economic sciences
That number is expected to jump quickly once Hurricane Michael makes landfall. National Hurricane Center, the storm made landfall before 2 p.m. ET.
Meteorologists offered stark warnings ahead of Wednesday's landfall.
"It's historic, it's extremely life-threatening", said Kenneth Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center, said. Michael is now positioned 60 miles south-southwest of Panama City.
The National Weather Service in Peachtree City warned early Wednesday of "significant impacts to much of central and east Georgia through Thursday".
The heavy rains could cause flash floods, the NHC said, and spawn tornados in northwestern Florida.
Fliers also should keep an eye on Atlanta and Charlotte, major hubs that will likely see poor weather once Michael moves inland.More news: India may continue to import oil from Iran, says Petroleum Minister
The storm was expected to begin lashing the coast with tropical-storm force as soon as Tuesday night.
A storm surge happens when winds from a fierce storm push water on shore.
As of 5 p.m. EDT, Michael is still a Category 3 major hurricane with its peak winds measuring 125 miles per hour.
Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama issued a state-wide state of emergency on Monday "in anticipation of wide-spread power outages, wind damage, and debris produced by high winds and heavy rain associated with Hurricane Michael".
4 storm to hit the Florida Panhandle (in records dating back to 1851.) The storm started off as a tropical depression the weekend before, and had reached Category 2 strength just a day before it hit landfall.
At 5 a.m., the major hurricane was holding maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour.More news: John Prine Among 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees