After spending the last week keeping the state of Florida on guard, Tropical Storm Hermine officially formed Wednesday afternoon, and quickly strengthened with sustained winds at 60 miles per hour.
Hermine was traveling at 10 miles an hour to the north-northeast Wednesday night and was still projected to hit Florida's Big Bend region sometime late Thursday or early Friday.
Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 42 Florida counties as the storm threatens to move across the state.
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The storm is expected to strengthen and could be near hurricane strength by the time landfall occurs, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said.
The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for the Suwannee River to Mexico Beach. A tropical storm warning, in addition to a hurricane watch, for in place for much of the Gulf Coast area of the state, covering an area from the Anclote River to Destin.
This comes as a flood watch was in effect for Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties as a result of potentially heavy rain from the system that could reach the area.
The emergency declaration in advance of the storm, Scott said, was to ensure that the state, regional and local agencies "can work together to meet the needs of our communities."
"It is crucial that every Floridian has a plan in place to ensure their families, homes and businesses are fully prepared. Floridians can make their own plan at FLGetaPlan.com," Scott urged in a news release Wednesday morning.