Tropical Storm Hermine moves into Carolinas, heavy rain forecast

Updated 10:56 PM EDT, Fri September 2, 2016
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Story highlights

NEW: Atlantic City concerts canceled due to forecast

Hermine moving through Carolinas, toward Atlantic

Editor’s Note: Are you affected by Tropical Storm Hermine? If it’s safe for you to do so, WhatsApp us on +44 7435 939 154 to share your photos, experiences and video. Please tag #CNNiReport in your message.

(CNN) —  

Much of the Carolinas was being drenched by rain Friday as Tropical Hermine slid up the East Coast after knocking down trees and leaving hundreds of thousands without power in Florida.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service said as many as 7 inches of rain could fall, and in isolated areas it could be more than that.

A flash flood watch was issued for northeast South Carolina and southeast North Carolina though Saturday morning.

The path of the storm, which smashed into Florida’s Panhandle as a Category 1 hurricane Friday morning, is projected to move through the North Carolina coast Friday night and head into the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.

The Labor Day weekend worry? Rough seas, dangerous surf and strong storm surge up the coast as far north as Connecticut.

The New York City Emergency Management office said no swimming will be allowed on beaches Sunday. Mayor Bill De Blasio said the city is considering closing the beaches to swimmers on Monday and Tuesday, too.

Long Island beaches remain closed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

In New Jersey, Atlantic City officials announced two outdoor concerts were canceled.

Two deaths reported

When Hermine ripped into St. Marks in Florida’s Big Bend region just before 2 a.m. Friday, it became the first hurricane to come ashore in the state since Wilma struck 11 years ago.

“There’s nothing open in our county right now,” sheriff’s Maj. Trey Morrison said Friday in Wakulla County, where Hermine made landfall. He said he heard a report of a driver crashing early Friday into a fallen tree.

“If it’s not an emergency, we don’t need people out,” he said.

One person died in Florida as Hermine approached. John Mayes, 56, was sleeping in a tent behind a gas station in Ocala, about 65 miles northwest of Orlando, when a tree fell onto him Thursday night, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said.

A medical examiner’s office has yet to determine whether the storm was the cause, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said.

About 70,000 homes and businesses were left without power in the Tallahassee area, where sustained winds of up to 80 mph toppled utility poles onto ground saturated by inches of rain.

Videos and pictures shared on social media showed damaged streets near the landfall point and downed trees throughout much of the state.

Hermine’s outer bands also dropped more rain in the Tampa and