Disasters & Accidents

‘Extremely dangerous’ Idalia makes landfall in Florida

Miami, US, Aug 30 (EFE).- Hurricane Idalia made landfall in northwestern Florida on Wednesday morning, with winds of 125 miles (205 kilometers) per hour, the United States National Hurricane Center said.

The “extremely dangerous” category 3 storm made landfall near Keaton Beach at about 7:45 am in an area of the state known as the Big Bend, the NHC said, warning that “catastrophic storm surge and damaging hurricane-force winds continue.”

At Cedar Key, farther south than Keaton Beach, an Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tide gauge buoy recorded a water level rise of 5.9 feet (1.7 meters).

About two hours before making landfall, Idalia had been classified as a Category 4 storm.

The NHC predicts that although Idalia should further weaken after landfall, it is likely to remain a hurricane as it moves across southern Georgia and near the Georgia and southern South Carolina coast late Wednesday.

The storm surge combined with the natural tide is still expected to cause flooding in usually dry coastal areas.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday morning confirmed Idalia was “a major hurricane as we have been saying it was likely to be for the last couple of days.”

“Don’t put your life at risk by doing anything dumb at this point,” he said, adding that “this thing is powerful.”

DeSantis, who during the press conference outlined the emergency measures that state authorities have deployed in anticipation of the hurricane’s landfall, urged people to “hunker down” in their homes and not to “mess around” with the high winds as “there’s going to be things flying all over the place.”

Officials have warned that the greatest danger is rising seas, which could surge to more than 15 feet at some areas along the northwest Florida coast.

“It’s going to be a big, big deal and it’s going to be very, very dangerous,” DeSantis said.

In addition to the warnings for northwest Florida, the NHC on Wednesday morning issued a hurricane alert for the US East Coast from Altamaha Sound in Georgia to Edisto Beach in South Carolina.

There are also minor warnings for areas of North Carolina and Virginia. EFE


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