Florida coast battered by Hurricane Hermine

Tropical storm Hermine has made landfall in northern Florida, becoming the first hurricane to hit the state in 11 years.  Hermine hit the Florida Gulf Coast early on Friday as a category one hurricane, bringing with it a heavy storm surge.  Governor Rick Scott had earlier declared a state of emergency for 51 counties across the state.  Wind gusts reached 80mph (130km/h), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.  Two hours after making landfall, as it moved inland, Hermine was downgraded to a tropical storm, the National Weather Service said.  It passed through Florida and is now making its way through Georgia before heading for the Carolinas.  Police in Taylor County, Florida, that has a population of more than 20,000, said the storm had inflicted “severe damage”.  In the state capital Tallahassee, where people were urged to move to higher ground to avoid flash floods, at least 70,000 homes were without power at one point, affecting 60% of people in the region.  “Multiple” roads were blocked by debris and fallen trees, traffic officials in the city said.  South of Tallahassee, the town of Cedar Key saw a 6.6ft (two-metre) storm surge, raising high tide to almost 10ft. Images from the town posted on social media showed significant flooding. Jump media player Media player help Out of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.  Heavy rain from Hermine  “It is a mess… we have high water in numerous places,” Virgil Sandlin, the police chief in Cedar Key, told the Weather Channel. “I was here in 1985 for Hurricane Elena and I don’t recall anything this bad.”

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