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National Hurricane Center says Hermine has strengthened to a hurricane

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MIAMI — The National Hurricane Center says Hermine has strengthened to a hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center has also extended tropical storm warnings farther south. They now include the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. The Florida Highway Patrol has closed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge due to high winds.

Hermine is expected to make landfall along Florida’s Gulf coast tonight or early tomorrow.

Check out a live storm surge camera from Cedar Key, Florida just below.

The last hurricane to strike Florida was Hurricane Wilma, which entered the state from along southwest Gulf Coast as a major Category 3 storm on Oct. 24, 2005. It swept across the Everglades and struck highly-populated south Florida, causing 5 deaths in the state and an estimated $23 billion in damage, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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