Hurricane Hermine hits Florida's Gulf coast

Governor Rick Scott warns residents to move inland, prepare supplies.

Uzi Baruch ,

צילום: רויטרס

Hurricane Hermine hit Florida's northwest coast Friday morning, flooding streets, toppling trees and knocking down power lines, local authorities said.

The storm touched down in a lightly populated, mostly rural section of the state, where the Florida peninsula meets the panhandle. It’s the first hurricane to hit Florida since Wilma in October 2005, a record-breaking 11-year stretch.

As of 1 a.m. local time, power was out for 32,000 customers in Tallahassee, a city of around 181,000, the local government said on Twitter.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday warned of the danger of strong storm surge, high winds, downed trees and power outages, and had urged people during the day to move to inland shelters if necessary and make sure they had enough food, water and medicine.

“This is a life-threatening situation,” Scott said. “It’s going to be a lot of risk. Right now, I want everybody to be safe.”

Scott added that 6,000 National Guardsmen in Florida are ready to mobilize after the storm passes. The governors of Georgia and North Carolina declared states of emergency. Hermine is eventually expected to drop back down to a tropical storm and push north into Georgia, the Carolinas and up the East Coast with the potential for drenching rain and deadly flooding.