Hermine hits Florida coast as 1st hurricane in a decade

From The Associated Press:

CARRABELLE, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Hermine made landfall in Florida’s Big Bend area early Friday as the first hurricane to hit the state in more than a decade, bringing soaking rain, high winds and thousands of power outages. Injuries were reported in Tallahassee as trees fell onto homes.

The Category 1 storm hit just east of St. Marks around 1:30 a.m. EDT with winds around 80 mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. Hermine later weakened to a tropical storm as it moved farther inland.

Projected storm surges of up to 12 feet menaced a wide swath of the coast and an expected drenching of up to 10 inches of rain carried the danger of flooding along the storm’s path over land, including the state capital Tallahassee, which hadn’t been hit by a hurricane since Kate in 1985.

As of 8 a.m. EDT Friday, Hermine was weakening as it moved into southern Georgia, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, the Hurricane Center said. It was centered about 35 miles northeast of Valdosta, Georgia, and was moving north-northeast near 14 mph.

After pushing through Georgia, Hermine was expected to move into the Carolinas and up the East Coast with the potential for drenching rain and deadly flooding.

In Tallahassee, high winds knocked trees onto several houses injuring residents inside, fire-rescue spokesman Mike Bellamy said. He said an unknown number were taken to area hospitals with injuries that weren’t thought to be life-threatening. Bellamy said his agency responded to more than 300 calls overnight. Mayor Andrew Gillum estimated as many as 100,000 area residents were without electricity Friday morning.

At Florida’s Keaton Beach, just south of the state’s Big Bend where the peninsula …

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