Cleanup begins as Hurricane Hermine blows through

Alcides Segui reports

- Hurricane Hermine made landfall along Florida's Big Bend area early Friday, leaving flooded streets, soggy beaches, and downed trees throughout the Bay Area.

The slow-moving storm was finally pushing its way across Georgia Friday afternoon after soaking the Sunshine State for three days.  But even from 200 miles north of Tampa, Hermine -- now a tropical storm -- was still lashing Florida with bands of wind and rain.

Sunrise Friday allowed Floridians to survey the most recent damage.  Coastal communities along Florida's gulf coast had water overrun beaches during the overnight high tide, eroding sand and flooding streets.

Clearwater Beach's Coronado Drive was underwater for much of the night, and downtown Tarpon Springs was also flooded.  Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach remained impassible this morning due to flooding.

The other usual low-lowing areas were also seeing flooding from the days of rain.  Shore Acres and South Tampa were among the communities with water in the streets.

Downed trees were causing problems throughout the Bay Area as well.  Law enforcement and viewers were sharing photos all morning showing large tree down across roads and power lines in just about every county. 

Even away from the coast, thousands of people were without power.  By mid-morning, TECO was reporting 11,000 households in the dark and Duke Energy had 78,000 customers across the state without power, including at least 20,000 in the Bay Area.  Another 10,000 Withlacoochee Electric Cooperative customers were dark.

Scattered storms are expected to continue into this afternoon as Hermine continues to pull moisture from the gulf over Florida.  This weekend, though, rain chances should return to their normal summertime levels as the storm pushes off into the Carolinas and eventually the Atlantic.

Check for power outage updates:

-TECO power outage map

-Duke Energy power outage map

-Lakeland Electric power outage map

- WREC outage map

Video of the flooding in Crystal River (Mobile users click here):


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