CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Hermine was downgraded Friday morning to a tropical storm, after making landfall overnight as a hurricane.
So far, 18 reported rescues have been made due to flooded homes in the coastal area of Pasco County, Florida. Governor Rick Scott is encouraging the people of Florida to take cover and get out.
"This is life threatening,” Governor Scott said. “We have a hurricane. We can rebuild a home. We can rebuild property. You cannot rebuild a life.”
Before the storm made landfall, it had already dumped more than a foot of rain near Tampa, Florida. Homes were flooded there and in Sarasota where fire crews used boats to rescue residents and pets.
One restaurant owner, scrambled to keep the water out. The threat was not just wind and rain, but isolated tornadoes too.
Parts of Georgia and North Carolina are also under a state of emergency. The East Coast expecting dangerous rip currents through the holiday weekend.
“We’re always worried, sure, but you do what you can and hope for the best,” one business owner said. “Plan for the worst.”
Despite the risks, Rex and Cindy Whiteman have chosen to stay.
“We've done everything we can to prepare” the Whitemans said. “It's too hard to pack up and leave, and this is home.”
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