Georgia's top emergency response official says Tropical Storm Hermine is having less of an impact on the state than he had expected.
Jim Butterworth, director of the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, said in a telephone interview Friday that no deaths or major structural damage had been reported in 56 Georgia counties under an emergency declaration.
Hermine churned into south Georgia early Friday after making landfall in Florida as a hurricane. The storm was expected to pass west of Savannah and head into South Carolina later Friday.
Butterworth said a few injuries had been reported, largely related to storm cleanup efforts, but none appeared serious. He said property damage appears to be mostly from trees falling on homes or cars.
The Tropical Storm's maximum sustained winds of 60 mph moving ENE at 21 mph.
Hermine was the first hurricane to hit Florida in more than a decade when it came ashore early Friday as a Category 1 storm.
After pushing through Georgia, Hermine is expected to move into the Carolinas and up the East Coast with the potential for drenching rain and deadly flooding. In advance of the storm, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in 56 counties.
Florida Governor Rick Scott says many homes lost electricity as Hermine crossed the state, but so far he's heard of few other "major issues."
During a Friday morning news conference in Tallahassee, Scott said he's touched base with officials in most of the counties affected by Hermine, which has now moved out of Florida and into Georgia. One man died when a tree fell on him in Ocala.
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