Wednesday morning saw Hurricane Idalia make landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast, striking near Keaton Beach in Taylor County at 7:45 a.m. The storm was classified as a Category 3 hurricane, dialing back from its brief climb to Category 4 status while over water. With winds howling at an unyielding 125 mph, the storm’s impact has been far from subtle.
Much of the coastline of Florida’s panhandle have been swallowed by the storm surge and worst effected areas will see up to a 12 foot surge.
The storm proceeded northeast towards Georgia and the Carolinas after it made its entry into Florida’s Big Bend at Keaton Beach at 7.45 am on Wednesday. Evacuation orders were issued to tens of thousands of residents, and approximately 200,000 individuals are grappling with power outages as the Big Bend coastline is being pummeled by floods.
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This hurricane adds to the woes of Florida, which is still recuperating from the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian, a catastrophe that resulted in a staggering $113 billion in damages for the state.
The imminent threat of a storm surge and wind-related destruction has prompted warnings from the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, indicating that some areas “may be uninhabitable for several weeks or months.”