Floridians Prepared for 1st Hurricane in 10yrs +
Hermine hit Florida Gulf Horn coast with diminished force, the 1st hurricane to strike the state since Y 2005 before heading East overland to threaten Soybean, Cotton crops and the US East Coast.
Hermine’s top winds reached 75 miles per hour, making it a Category 1 hurricane, the US National Hurricane Center said 5:00p New York time advisory. It was located 85 miles south of Apalachicola, FL.
The hurricane will come ashore on Florida’s Panhandle early Friday and then cross Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina where its winds and rain could damage Cotton and Soybean crops. Earlier, Orange Juice futures rose to a 5-week high as the storm headed toward Florida.
Flooding rains are forecast for the storm’s path through agriculture areas.
“Bottom line is that there will be some flooding along the path of the storm that will cause damage, up to five percent losses in the swath of the heaviest rain,” said the co-Founder of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. “But the speed of the storm’s passage and drier weather to follow will help to limit impacts.”
Hermine will pass too far North to be a major threat to citrus. Florida is the 2nd-largest producer of Orange Juice behind Brazil.
When Hermine 1st entered the Gulf, offshore Oil & Gas output fell as companies pulled crews off rigs and platforms. That trend reversed with the storm’s track toward Florida, however on Thursday Chevron (NYSE:CVX) announced it will shut its Panama City, FL, terminal overnight as a precaution, with plans to reopen tomorrow, a company spokesman said.
By Tuesday, Hermine could be meandering east of Delaware and south of Long Island, NY. A tropical storm watch has been extended up the Atlantic coast to Sandy Hook, NJ.
Hermine will drop as much as 10 ins, of rain across northwest Florida and parts of Georgia through Friday, the center said. Some areas could get as much as 20 ins.
“Hurricane conditions are expected to reach the coast within the warning area beginning tonight,” the Miami-based center said. “Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott ordered state offices in 51 counties closed at Noon Thursday after declaring an emergency Wednesday.
A storm like Hermine could touch off widespread power outages. Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) has staged about 1,200 repair staff in north Florida, where the utility owner expects the worst damage to power lines, the company said Thursday.
Hermine would be the 1st hurricane to hit Florida since Wilma in Y 2005. It could also push as much as 6 ft of sea water on shore as it hits, said a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, PA. While only a small area will face hurricane-strength winds, tropical-storm winds of at least 39 mph will be widespread, he said.
Insurance losses from Hermine’s strike should be “manageable” because it will miss more heavily populated areas, according an analyst in Richmond, VA.
Hurricane watches and warnings are posted along the Florida Panhandle, while tropical storm warnings and watches extend from Florida to New Jersey.
Through the weekend, a frontal system across the northern US could allow Hermine to stay close to the East Coast. Areas along the US East Coast from the Mid-Atlantic states to the Northeast could experience high waves and beach erosion.
Hermine is the Atlantic’s 8th named storm and 4th hurricane of Y 2016. Hurricane season runs from 1 June to 30 November.