Hurricane Hermine has arrived and has slammed into Florida, with the Sunshine State braced for 80mph winds, 12ft storm surges and up to 20 inches of rain overnight. The ‘life-threatening’ hurricane – Florida’s first for 11 years – made landfall shortly after 1.30am as it careered past St Marks, south east of Tallahassee. Hermine hurtled ashore at the Big Bend, the mostly rural and lightly populated coastal area where the Florida peninsula meets the Panhandle.
The devastating weather system weakened to a tropical storm as it crossed into Georgia but is still blowing 70mph gusts and appears to be on a collision course with Valdosta as it heads north east. The huge storm – which has knocked out power for more than 132,000 people – is then expected to push further into Georgia, the Carolinas and up the East Coast as a tropical storm, with the potential for heavy rain and flooding. Some parts of eastern Florida could be hit with 20 inches of rain in the next 24 hours and dozens of towns in Hermine’s path have been evacuated. READ MORE