CEDAR KEY, Fla. (WFLA) – Hurricane Hermine pounded the Gulf Coast early Friday morning and sent storm water onto this normally peaceful island in Levy County, panicking residents and causing many to seek higher ground.
Emergency officials tell News Channel 8 that it’s impossible to get on or off the island as water has risen over many roads, including the main thoroughfare to Cedar Key.
Just after midnight, water from the Gulf of Mexico spilled into the parking lot of the Beach Front Motel, where a News Channel 8 crew spent the night.
They had to wade through a foot of water to get to higher ground. Motel owners stayed on property and were awake and monitoring the situation.
No one was reported injured on the island as of 1:00 a.m. Friday, the assistant emergency operations director for Levy County said. Mandatory evacuations were ordered Thursday, but some people opted to stay. Parts of the island are well above sea level.
It appears that every business on the island is closed.
Police officers are roaming the streets in pick-up trucks, looking for damage.
The storm surge is expected to reach 11-feet Friday morning, the assistant emergency operations director said.
Parts of Levy County are without power, but it remains on in Cedar Key.