FLORIDA (AFP): Tropical Storm Mindy made landfall in northwest Florida Wednesday packing 45 mph (75 kph) winds, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm first hit land on the island of St. Vincent, which is about 900 feet (300 meters) from the state’s coast, the Miami-based organization said in an evening update, and was expected to quickly arrive on the mainland.
Mindy was moving northeast at about 21 miles (33 kilometers) per hour and was expected to maintain that course in the coming days.
The center of the storm was forecast to cross the Florida panhandle, the part of the state bordering Alabama and Georgia, on Wednesday night.
The NHC issued a tropical storm warning for that region’s coastline, between the city of Mexico Beach and the Steinhatchee River.
Heavy rain is forecast for the panhandle, as well as southern Georgia and South Carolina, and is expected to last through Thursday morning, according to the NHC.
There was also a threat of isolated tornadoes in the panhandle Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the NHC said.