Causing damage before it even reached the mainland, Hurricane Idalia slammed the coast of Florida’s Big Bend Wednesday morning, the National Hurricane Center said, according to NBC.
Noting that the storm came ashore on the Gulf Coast about 7:45 Eastern Daylight Time with winds of 125 mph, the center warned of “catastrophic impacts,” “destructive life-threatening winds” and flooding that will follow the storm’s path through Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
Warnings were issued of storm surges along 200 miles of Florida’s west coast and surges that could reach as high as 12 to 16 feet in the landfall area.
— Darkside (@ShortCuts24) August 30, 2023
The National Weather Service office in Tallahassee said due to wind damage, “locations may be uninhabitable for several weeks or months.”
The storm passed west of Cedar Key, where resident Michael Presley Bobbitt said in his 20 years on the island he has never seen water “rise out of the gulf in such an angry way,” according to NewsNation.
“There’s an apocalyptic scene out there. We’re used to storm surge here. … But we’re not used to it coming from all sides and just swallowing up everything,” he said.
— Reed Timmer, PhD (@ReedTimmerAccu) August 30, 2023
On Wednesday, Bobbitt posted an update on Facebook.
“The water has made it to my backyard but it will have to go up 7 ft to flood my house I might be about to get lucky. The rest of the island is not lucky. Our entire downtown is submerged. Houses everywhere are submerged,” he wrote.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned that the storm’s damage would be far-reaching.
Here’s a few clips from Perry, Florida inside Hurricane #Idalia.
At times it was just too dangerous to get out of the car, especially with flying debris and such. pic.twitter.com/FV0KE1JVGv
— Zachary Hall (@WxZachary) August 30, 2023
“There will be impacts far beyond the eyewall,” he said Wednesday morning “We have already had 11 tornado warnings and there are more tornadoes possible.”
“Don’t put your life at risk by doing anything dumb at this point,” DeSantis said. “This thing’s powerful. If you’re inside, just hunker down until it gets past.”
— Will Wise (@WillWise_WX) August 30, 2023
“Idalia is expected to produce a swath of 4 to 8 inches of rainfall with isolated maxima up to 12 inches from the Florida Big Bend through central Georgia and South Carolina, and through eastern North Carolina into Thursday.
“These rainfall amounts will lead to areas of flash, urban, and moderate river flooding, with considerable impacts,” it warned, noting that dangerous tides could be felt along the Gulf Coast all the way to Louisiana.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.