Hurricane Hermine Floods Coastal Areas, Downs Trees As It Hits Florida

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Brian Mugrage watches the weather on TV as he stands in the storm surge Thursday inside the Riverside Cafe in Saint Marks, Fla.

Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images


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Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

Brian Mugrage watches the weather on TV as he stands in the storm surge Thursday inside the Riverside Cafe in Saint Marks, Fla.

Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

Updated 4:55 a.m. ET

Hurricane Hermine made landfall early Friday morning just east of St. Marks, Fla., as a Category 1 storm with 80 mph winds, but weakened to a tropical storm as it moved further inland.

The National Hurricane Center expects Hermine to produce “a large extent of dangerous winds, life-threatening storm surge and flooding rains well to the east and southeast of the path of the center.”

Schools in the area have been closed so they can be used as staging areas for emergency responders, member station WFSU reports, and many coastal residents have been urged to evacuate. A storm surge as high as nine feet is expected, NHC forecasters say.

Police block the road entering Cedar Key, Fla., as Hurricane Hermine nears the Florida coast on Thursday.

John Raoux/AP


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John Raoux/AP

Police block the road entering Cedar Key, Fla., as Hurricane Hermine nears the Florida coast on Thursday.

John Raoux/AP

The Associated Press reported that the storm downed trees and knocked out power in parts of Tallahassee.

The National Hurricane Center expects the storm to track across Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas on Friday before reaching the Atlantic Ocean; the track after that is somewhat unpredictable but should keep the storm at least somewhat close to the U.S. coast. Rain could total six to 10 inches across broad swaths of the Southeast, with isolated areas getting as much as 15 inches.

In a statement Thursday evening, Florida Gov. Rick Scott urged residents to be alert, follow safety plans and evacuate if asked.

“It is still up to every Floridian to do their part to make sure they and their families are ready,” the statement said. “For the first time in over a decade, Florida is facing a hurricane. Hurricane Hermine is going to be here in the next few hours and everyone must take this seriously. Please remember that while we can rebuild your home or your business, we cannot rebuild the loss of life.”

Further north, the AP reported that some Georgia authorities were urging those who live in mobile homes to get to shelters ahead of the storm.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/02/492341346/hurricane-hermine-floods-coastal-areas-downs-trees-as-it-hits-florida?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=news

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