Hurricane Hermine Causes Severe Damage
First Hurricane To Make Landfall Since 2005
En route to Georgia, hurricane Hermine weakens into a tropical storm, but not before leaving Florida residents without power. Hermine, the first hurricane to reach Florida since Wilma (2005), made landfall early this morning, drenching Florida’s “Big Bend” with rain and violent 80mph wind. Damages from Hermine’s aftermath includes thousands of residents being left without power, downed trees, flooding, injuries, and one reported death. The death, reported in Marion County, occurred when a downed tree fell onto a tent in a homeless camp in Ocala. Taylor County, which also reported serious injuries, received nearly 10 feet of storm surge.
Prior to the storm several local officials issued mandatory evacuation and warned residents of potential flooding. Governor Rick Scott issued a state of emergency for 51 counties, calling hurricane Hermine “life-threatening”. With stagnant flood water now an issue, the concern of the Zika virus spreading has elevated. However, Ben Beard of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a statement saying “We associate severe rain events like tropical events and hurricanes with increases in nuisance mosquitoes, not disease-spreading (mosquitoes).”