Hurricane Hermine lashed the Panhandle region of Florida, prompting mandatory evacuation orders.
Certain Gulf Coast communities in water or low-lying regions were issued mandatory evacuation orders.
As reported by CNN, the level of ocean water could reach 9 feet above the average level. The governor issued a warning to the residents, saying Hermine could be life-threatening.
Hurricane Hermine: Cities including Apalachicola and Tallahassee affected
Before landfall, Hermine affected several cities including Apalachicola, Tallahassee, and St. Petersburg. The hurricane was carrying maximum sustained winds of almost 80 miles per hour.
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Classified as a Category 1 hurricane, it is expected to become a non-tropical low by this weekend and will remain present near or off the Mid Atlantic or Northeast seaboard. Strong winds and flooding could occur as a result. Other tropical storms continue to affect regions from Florida to North Carolina.
Weather.com notes Hermine will the first hurricane landfall in the state since the 2005 Hurricane Wilma.
Hurricane Hermine storm surge ‘life-threatening’
“This is life-threatening,” Governor Rick Scott said. “The storm surge, by itself, is life-threatening.”
A state of emergency was declared in 51 of the state’s 67 counties. Offices in the affected counties were ordered shut by noon on Thursday.
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As much as 10 inches of rainfall could strike in areas including Tallahassee (some parts may even be affected with 15 inches of rainfall). Georgia and the eastern Carolinas could experience heavy rainfall. The storms brought maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour on Wednesday.
A curfew beginning at 9 p.m. was set in place in Taylor County and Gulf Coast of Florida. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for coastal communities.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in the state’s 56 counties. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory issued a state of emergency in 33 eastern counties.