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Hurricane Hermine and It's Effects on Tallahassee

By News 20 Online Team
On September 20, 2016

It was the storm that shook the city.

Hurricane Hermine was the first hurricane to sweep through Tallahassee in over 10 years. The category 1 storm left thousands without power and left a lasting impact on the town. News 20 followed the storm from before it hit to the aftermath of its effects on Florida's capital.


Multi-media journalist JaVonni Hampton went to St. Marks, Florida to monitor the storm the day before it hit the city. Governor Rick Scott issued a state of emergency that afternoon which cautioned residents to fill up on gas and make last-minute grocery runs in prepreation for the storm.


Joseph Piscani, a National Weather Service stormchaser from Atlanta, was following the storm at St. Marks also.  He said the hurricane was expected to affect most of the Gulf Coast. It was also expected to have strong winds, flooding and possible tornados.

 

During the storm, strong winds took down trees throughout the city, causing damage to homes, businesses and roads. Debris decorated the town and down power lines left many without electricity. 80 percent of Tallahassee residents lost their power.

The few areas with power included various communities on the South side of town including the entire Florida A&M University campus, parts of Florida State University and some comunities in Northeast Tallahassee.

Leon County Schools, Tallahassee Community College, FSU and FAMU cancelled classes in the days following the storm due to extensive damage and the ongoing power outages.


Many residents said they did not expect such a strong storm to come through the city. Others said they remember a similar result when Hurricane Kate swept through town in 1985. 


Multi-media journalist JaVonni Hampton spoke with residents in the days following the storm. Some people were feeling the effects of Hermine seven days after the storm hit. Many residents were still out of power and others had mulitple fallen trees, down power lines and debris in their community.


A local elementary school teacher had to saw through a tree to be able to get to her car in her own driveway.


Within a week, 90 percent of power was restored to City of Tallahassee residents. Within two weeks, 100 percent of power was resotred. 

It is estimated that the City experienced millions of dollars in damages due to Hermine.

A week after the storm, the City dispatched workers to clean up debris. More than 20,000 tons of debris has been collected since the clean-up began.


The city's primary focus now is clean-up efforts and preparation for possible other hurricanes. 

The Leon County Commission has set up measures they feel will help the county in Hermine's aftermath. These measures include a series of community sessions where residents can voice their opinions on the City's response to the hurricane. 

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