Submitted by ub on Thu, 09/01/2016 - 07:12

It may be arriving to the center of the state, but Floridians there could experience their first hurricane ever as the sunshine state's remarkable 11-year dry streak comes to an end.

Tropical Storm Hermine is forecast to make landfall somewhere in the Big Bend area along the Gulf of Mexico coast. It may arrive as a strong tropical storm or a weak hurricane.

If it reaches hurricane strength before, it would be the first to hit Florida since Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. Forecasters are issuing the first hurricane watch in four years for the west coast of Florida, with heavy rain, storm surge, high winds and possible tornadoes.

Florida officials have opened evacuation shelters and closed schools throughout the region.