Hurricane Hermine, Flooding Slam Florida

Hurricane Hermine made landfall overnight in Florida as a Category 1 storm, with sustained winds of up to 80 mph, before weakening to a tropical storm and moving inland as dawn approached, the National Weather Service reports. At least one person has died and more than 250,000 people are without power. Hermine, which hit east of St. Marks, some 30 miles south of Tallahassee, is the first hurricane to hit the state in 11 years. Low-lying Gulf Coast communities had issued mandatory evacuation notices and tornado watches were in effect. “This is life-threatening,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday, after declaring a state of emergency for 51 of the state’s 67 counties. “We have a hurricane. You can rebuild a home. You can rebuild property. You cannot rebuild a life.” He added, “We have 6,000 members of the National Guard ready to be mobilized.” Residents said they were concerned about continued rain and the surge of water from the Gulf of Mexico, which could be as high as nine feet. Hermine could bring with it as much as 15 inches of rain in some parts of Florida. The storm will likely move into Georgia before making its way up the East Coast, said the National Hurricane Center.