Where is I-10 Closed in Florida Panhandle? Hurricane Michael Closes East, West Interstate 10 Traffic, Detour Required

Hurricane Michael hurled destruction throughout the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, as the third-most powerful storm to hit the U.S. mainland in recorded history. After making landfall near the Panama City area, Category 4 Michael destroyed homes and businesses, wiped out beaches, and knocked down trees and power lines, scattering debris across a wide swath of the region.

One result of that debris: Interstate 10 has been closed in both east and westbound directions for an 80-mile stretch in the panhandle, impacting 16 Florida counties including Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Franklin, Liberty, Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla, and Jefferson.

From the Florida Department of Transportation as of Thursday morning at 6 a.m. central time: "All EB lanes of I-10 are closed from US-331, MM 85 to the Apalachicola River, MM 160. All WB lanes of I-10 are closed from the Apalachicola River to SR-77, MM 120. Seek an alternate route."

According to the Associated Press, in an email sent early Thursday, Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Eddie Elmore said I-10 was closed "due to extremely hazardous conditions."

The agency is working with the Florida Department of Transportation to clear the interstate which is the major east-west route across northern Florida and the Panhandle. Elmore said the road is closed west of Tallahassee, between mile marker 85 near DeFuniak Springs and mile marker 166 near Lake Seminole, the AP reported.

Officials did not say how long the work was expected to take, thus, the 80-mile stretch of I-10 is closed from Thursday morning until further notice.

Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, around 12:30 p.m. with 155- mile per hour winds and a minimum pressure of 919 millibars—unprecedented for an October hurricane hitting the U.S. and unprecedented for the past five decades.

Images of houses ripped apart emerged soon after landfall from near Mexico Beach, Florida, where Michael made landfall as a Category 4 storm, nearly a Category 5, and more than 250,000 had already lost power in the Florida panhandle early Monday afternoon. Now that number is above 500,000 without power and it is expected to keep growing as Michael takes a ripping journey north, across the southeast. With all its damage at landfall and soon after, the damaging journey of powerful Hurricane Michael has 36 hours ahead.

Tyndall Air Force Base, in Panama City, wrote on its Facebook page that the base had sustained extensive damage from the hurricane. The base had evacuated Monday and nobody was injured but damage so significant enough that evacuees have been told to continue their leave for an extended time. Tyndall Air Force base recorded one wind gust of 129 miles per hour.

In Marianna, Florida, an hour north of Panama City, had damaged buildings with collapsed walls and roofs torn off, according to social media posts. Similar stories were emerging from Tallahassee, the state capital, with downed power lines, trees and roofs damaged.