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Hurricane Idalia continues to wreak havoc across the Southeast
As Hurricane Idalia rips off roofs and causes widespread flooding in Florida, more states in the Southeast are now being affected by its violent path. Idalia is currently lashing a 250-mile area of the region, causing widespread destruction and danger.
The danger is not yet over
Although the hurricane made landfall several hours ago, its effects are expected to continue for a long time to come. Coastal areas in Georgia and South Carolina are now under threat from intense flooding, powerful winds, and tornadoes as Idalia moves across the region.
- Idalia has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, with even stronger gusts.
- Flash flooding and river flooding is likely across Georgia and the Carolinas through Thursday.
- Residents of western Florida are warned not to get a false sense of security as a massive “king tide” could worsen the flooding.
- Officials urge people not to venture into the water filling the streets, as it is saltwater mixed with other hazardous substances.
The impact of Idalia
Idalia slammed Florida’s Big Bend area near Keaton Beach at Category 3 strength, causing deadly storm surge and high wind gusts. The storm surge has engulfed several cities in Florida, including Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Fort Myers Beach.
Updates from across the region
- Airports in Tampa and other cities have suspended commercial operations but are scheduled to reopen soon.
- Major bridges connecting St. Petersburg to mainland Florida are closed.
- Power outages affect hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in Florida and Georgia.
- Evacuations are in effect in at least 28 counties.
- Thousands of people are seeking refuge in shelters.
- President Joe Biden will address the government response to the hurricane.
- Hospitals are suspending services and transferring patients to safer facilities.
- Schools and universities have closed across the region.
- Thousands of inmates have been evacuated.
Idalia’s center is expected to move near or along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina in the coming days. Georgia and South Carolina have declared states of emergency as they prepare for floods and hurricane force winds.
The hurricane center warns of tropical storm conditions, heavy rain, flooding, and storm surge in various areas of the region.