150k Without Power as Hermine Makes Landfall; First Hurricane to Strike Florida in 11 Years
Hours before coming ashore Thursday night, Hurricane Hermine strengthened to a Category 1 storm bringing sustained winds of 75 mph, heavy rains, tornado warnings, and a “life-threatening” storm surge to Florida’s Gulf Coast. Hurricane warnings were in effect along areas around Tampa Bay and Tallahassee, as well tropical storm warnings extending through much of the northeast Gulf Coast up into North Carolina as the storm moved inland. As of Friday morning, Hermine had been downgraded back to a tropical storm and news outlets in Florida reported at least 150,000 people are without power with authorities concerned the storm could do much more damage as it continues to move northeast.
According to ABC, Hermine made landfall at approximately 1:30 a.m. early Friday morning as a hurricane, the first to strike Florida in 11 years when Hurricane Wilma struck the coastal state in 2005. Forecasters predict Hermine could dump as much as five to 10 inches of rain, with some local areas receiving more than 15 inches, which could cause “life-threatening floods,” according to the National Hurricane Center. From ABC:
“The National Weather Service said an area outside Tampa in Pinellas County recorded 22.36 inches of rain over the past 72 hours, while in nearby Largo 15.23 inches of rain has fallen. Other rain totals include 10.73 inches in Seminole, 9.71 inches in Longboat Key and 8.61 inches in Port Richey, The Associated Press reported.”Meteorologists also warned of a powerful storm surge that could approach nearly 11 feet in some areas. After Hermine pushes its way through Florida, the storm is expected to move into southeast Georgia and along the Carolina coast and then into the northeast by Sunday.
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