The National Hurricane Center says data from an air force aircraft indicates that Hermine has strengthened to a hurricane, with maximum sustained winds increasing to near 75 mph.
Hermine’s upgrade from tropical storm makes it the fourth hurricane of 2016 in the Atlantic basin.
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Rick Scott says Hermine is potentially life-threatening, and he’s urging Gulf Coast residents to take precautions immediately.
At a news conference Thursday, Scott said officials expect storm surges, flooding, power outages, high winds and downed trees when as the storm comes ashore.
Scott says people in the area should take action now to protect themselves and ensure they have enough food, medicine and water.
The governor also says 6,000 National Guard members are ready to mobilize once the storm has passed.
SOURCE: The Associated Press