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Hurricane Hermine plowed into the State of Florida early Friday morning at around 1:30 am, leaving one dead, and a path of destruction by a hurricane not seen in a long time. The Category 1 storm knocked out electricity for more than 200,000 people, bringing with it 80 mph winds and 12 ft. storm surges. The storm has been working its way up the coast, moving through Georgia and into the Carolinas, with the potential for drenching rain and deadly flooding as far north as New Jersey and New York City.
Florida Governor Rick Scott, who declared a state of emergency in 51 counties, said 6,000 National Guard members are ready to mobilize once the storm has passed.
As the storm heads north, it has weakened to a classification as a tropical storm. The storm is moving in a north-easterly pattern and is expected to head out into the North Atlantic after Monday where it will dissipate and die. Hurricane Hermine may stall off the East Coast, which will slam the northeastern cities with strong winds and coastal flooding. If the storm hovers over the northern portion of the Eastern Seaboard, as expected, its journey out into the North Atlantic may be as late as Wednesday.
The southern States along the Atlantic Coast also have tornado warnings being issued along with the Hurricane storm warnings. Hurricane Hermine is the first "hurricane" to strike Florida in 11 years. At one point during this storm a power plant exploded as a result of a lightning strike caused by the stormy conditions. Flooding has damaged an untold number of homes in Florida. High winds created concern even on the west coast of Florida, serving as the primary factor in the closing of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa.
In Georgia, as the storm has worked its way into the southeastern region of that State, thousands are already without electricity. Georgia Power estimated about 19,000 homes and businesses were without power statewide early Friday.
The governors of Georgia and North Carolina have already declared emergencies in affected regions.
Hurricane Hermine is the fourth hurricane of the 2016 season in the Atlantic basin.
The last hurricane to hit Florida was Wilma in October 2005, which killed a total of 62 in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, Cuba, and Florida. Five of those deaths were in Florida. The category 5 hurricane had wind speeds of up to 183 mph and caused an estimated $23 billion in damage in Florida. It is ranked as the fifth costliest storm in U.S. history.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary