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Could Hermine Be Florida's First Hurricane Since 2005?

State officials are telling residents to prepare for the worst.
Could Hermine Be Florida's First Hurricane Since 2005?

Tropical Storm Hermine is expected to intensify into a hurricane before it hits Florida's Gulf coast Thursday night.

And state officials are telling residents to prepare for the worst.

"We have 6,000 members of our National Guard ready to be mobilized. But just think, we're going to have storm surge, we're going to have rain, we have the risk of tornado, and this is going to go across the state," Florida Gov. Rick Scott told reporters.

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Scott has already declared a state of emergency in North and Central Florida ahead of Hermine's arrival.

And forecasters say it's very possible that the storm could wreak as much havoc on Tallahassee as Hurricane Kate did back in 1985.

As one National Weather Service meteorologist told the Tallahassee Democrat, "I don't think people should take this lightly."

If Hermine does make landfall as a hurricane, it will be the first to hit Florida since 2005.

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"I say better safe than sorry," one resident told WCTV.

Hermine caps off a week of rare and intense storms for the U.S.

Tropical Storm Madeline pounded Hawaii's Big Island on Wednesday. And Hurricane Lester was right on its heels, packing 110 mph winds as of Thursday morning.

Hermine is also expected to impact parts of the Southeast coast, triggering tropical storm warnings and watches in Georgia and both North and South Carolina.