Hurricane Idalia Hits Florida and Georgia with Horrific Force, State Defense Forces on Stand By

Hurricane Idalia, a Category 3 storm, wreaked havoc upon making landfall in Florida, particularly along the Gulf Coast. The storm resulted in submerged homes and vehicles, roads turned into rivers, unmoored boats, and widespread power outages. A particularly hard-hit area was Cedar Key, where the storm surge reached almost 7 feet, flooding much of the downtown and causing propane tanks to explode. Idalia’s landfall occurred in Florida’s Big Bend region near Keaton Beach with winds peaking at 125 mph. The hurricane continued to display its strength as it entered Georgia with winds still at hurricane levels. Predictions indicated that the storm would later hit the Carolinas as a tropical storm and possibly circle back landwards after. Despite the warnings and evacuation orders, many Florida residents faced extensive flooding and power outages, with over 263,000 customers without electricity.

Residents reacted with astonishment to the extensive flooding, with scenes like Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard being likened to a river. As the storm approached Tallahassee, Florida’s capital, power was lost, prompting local officials to urge residents to stay indoors. Officials also issued warnings of potential storm surges of up to 16 feet in certain areas and imposed curfews. One Wakulla County resident highlighted the urgency of the situation when a firefighter son advised immediate evacuation due to the storm’s intensification to Category 4. The National Weather Service dubbed Hurricane Idalia “an unprecedented event” as no major hurricanes had previously affected the bay neighboring the Big Bend. It was emphasized that the storm initially developed into a Category 2 system and quickly escalated to Category 4 before slightly weakening. Given the hurricane’s scale, emergency measures included waiving tolls, opening shelters, mobilizing utility workers, and activating National Guard troops.

As the storm moves toward Georgia & South Carolina, both The Georgia State Defense Force & South Carolina State Guard have been put on stand by for activation. We will provide you more information as it comes.

Here are some news excerpts from media sources:


FEMA administrator warns inland areas of Georgia and South Carolina are prone to “catastrophic” flooding

FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell joined CNN this morning and warned that as Idalia moves inland, residents in the path of the storm in Georgia and South Carolina “still need to take this very serious.”

Criswell said there are parts in those two states “that are prone to catastrophic inland flooding.”

“So people need to still listen to their local officials and listen to what they’re telling them to do to make sure they’re making sure that they stay safe during this storm as it passes through,” she added, noting she’s spoken to the governors of both states.

“The worst of the storm is not over,” Florida’s Citrus County sheriff says

As Hurricane Idalia makes its way across northern Florida and into Georgia, officials continue to warn residents of the dangers of traversing through some areas impacted by the storm.

“The worst of the storm is not over for us,” Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast told CNN’s John Berman. “While the hurricane made landfall several hours ago, its affects are going to continue to play out for a long time to come. The storm surge is going to be a continuing event well into the hours of darkness tonight.”

“Please don’t venture out into it,” Prendergast added. “We have downed power lines. As I said earlier, we’ve had three tornado warnings and we’ve had a host of other challenges across our community.”

Citrus County is located along the Central Ridge of Florida, about 75 miles north of Tampa.

Idalia’s worst impacts now in Georgia

From CNN’s Angela Fritz

Hurricane Idalia’s worst impacts have shifted into Georgia, where the strongest winds are combining with the heaviest rain and threat of flooding.

Idalia will continue to lash Georgia until Wednesday evening, when its center will cross into South Carolina.

Idalia’s outer rainbands have already begun to affect southern South Carolina. Conditions there will continue to worsen from south to north through Wednesday.

Flood watches extend from Florida to North Carolina.

Idalia’s sustained winds are down to 85 mph but the storm is still a Category 1 hurricane

From CNN’s Monica Garrett

Idalia is seen over Florida, Georgia and South Carolina in this satellite image taken at 12:01pm ET on Wednesday.

Idalia is seen over Florida, Georgia and South Carolina in this satellite image taken at 12:01pm ET on Wednesday. NOAA

Idalia’s maximum sustained winds are now 85 mph, with higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center’s latest position update. Idalia is located about 25 miles northeast of Valdosta.

Damaging winds continue over southern Georgia. A sustained wind of 43 mph with a wind gust of 56 mph was recently reported at Moody Air Force Base in southern Georgia.

Here are some photos from Florida & Georgia:


















Sources: Huffington PostCNNNY Times

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