Extremely Dangerous Hurricane Idalia Approaches Florida's Gulf Coast

06:40 30.08.2023

Florida's Gulf Coast is preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Idalia, which has intensified to a Category 4 storm. With maximum sustained winds of 215km/h (130mph), Idalia is set to make landfall in Florida's Big Bend region. This will be the fourth major hurricane to hit Florida in the past seven years, following Irma in 2017, Michael in 2018, and Ian in 2022.

Millions of people in the storm's path have taken precautions by securing their properties, boarding up windows, and sandbagging their homes. Boats have been tied down, and residents have been advised to seek higher ground. The National Guard has mobilized 5,500 members, and 30,000 to 40,000 electricity workers are on standby. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that 1.1 million gallons of gasoline have been set aside to address any fuel supply interruptions.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued in 28 of Florida's 67 counties, and more than 40 school districts have canceled classes. Tampa International Airport has suspended commercial operations. Residents have been urged to evacuate immediately for their safety.

Idalia is projected to cause catastrophic damage and life-threatening storm surges. It is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 storm in the lightly populated Big Bend region, where the Florida Panhandle curves into the Florida peninsula. This region has not seen a major hurricane pass through it before, making Idalia an unprecedented event.

The storm surge is a significant concern, with warnings posted for hundreds of miles of shoreline from Sarasota to Indian Pass. Surge heights of 10 to 15 feet are possible, posing a significant threat to low-lying areas. Heavy rainfall of 4 to 8 inches, or even up to a foot in isolated areas, is also expected in Florida's Gulf Coast, southeastern Georgia, and eastern parts of North and South Carolina.

Southern states, including Georgia and South Carolina, are also preparing for Idalia's impact. State of emergency declarations have been issued, and resources and personnel, including national guard soldiers, have been mobilized. President Joe Biden has assured Governor DeSantis of the federal government's support.

Idalia's path is projected to cross the Florida peninsula and continue to impact Georgia and the Carolinas on Thursday. The 2023 hurricane season is expected to be busier than initially forecast due to warm ocean temperatures.

As residents and officials brace for the storm's arrival, the message remains clear: evacuate immediately and seek higher ground to ensure safety. The potential for catastrophic damage and life-threatening storm surges necessitates taking all necessary precautions.

/ Wednesday, August 30, 2023, 6:40 AM /

themes:  Joe Biden  Florida  Georgia  South Carolina

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