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Florida devastated by first hurricane in decade: Hermine ravages coast, kills one

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The first hurricane in over a decade struck Florida’s Gulf Coast early Friday morning with heavy rain and winds up to 80 mph winds. Along with severe coastal damage, Hurricane Hermine also resulted in at least one death.

More from the Los Angeles Times:

The Category 1 hurricane crashed ashore early Friday near St. Marks, a tiny town with a population of less than 300, in the low-lying, marshy Big Bend area, where the state’s peninsula meets the Panhandle.

In St. Marks, the storm surge flooded the Riverside Café, the Sweet Magnolia Inn and Bo Lynn’s Grocery, the community’s only market. Yet it did not reach the post office as it did when Hurricane Kate swept through the region in 1985. …

After pounding through a mostly undeveloped area of Wakulla County, full of national wildlife refuges and forests, Hermine stormed into the state’s capital of Tallahassee, which has a population of more than 181,000.

Hermine felled trees and limbs and knocked down power lines, blocking roads and cutting off power to more than 253,000 utility customers across Florida.

 

Cedar Key, a small town of around 700 people located about 100 miles south of where the storm came ashore, saw damage to the homes and business of an estimated 300 residents, according to Police Chief Virgil Sandlin.

“This is by far the worst storm I’ve ever experienced in my 34 years of living here,” Sandlin said, according to The Times. “It’s worse than the storm of the century.”

Hermine was a Category 1 hurricane when it made landfall and weakened to a tropical depression as it moved over Georgia and South Carolina. Dangerous storm surges can still be expected:

Here’s a sampling of some of the damage experienced from Twitter:

Tom Tillison

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