Photos: Hurricane Idalia Makes Landfall in Florida As Category 3 Storm

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Keaton Beach, Florida, as a Category 3 storm on Wednesday morning with maximum sustained winds of up to 125 mph. The storm brought immense amounts of rain and significant flooding to the state’s Big Bend region, where the Florida Panhandle turns into the peninsula.

NBC News reports that there have been two deaths in connection with the storm. According to Florida Highway Patrol, both deaths were a result of a weather-related car crashes. A 40-year-old man lost control of his Ford Ranger in Pasco County and veered off the road into a tree around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday morning. Another man, 59, was driving a Toyota Tacoma in Alachua County when heavy rainfall caused him to cross out of his lane and into a ditch.


The National Weather Service reported that Hurricane Idalia has caused a “catastrophic” storm surge, with its Tallahassee office advising that it’ll likely continue through the afternoon with the increasing tide. CNN is reporting that close to 264,000 Floridian customers are without power as of 11 a.m.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

During an early-morning briefing, Governor Ron DeSantis advised residents who did not previously evacuate to stay indoors until the storm passes fully and to assume any downed wires are live until told otherwise.

“Wherever you are, just hunker down and don’t take anything for granted,” he said.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Kevin Guthrie, the executive of Florida’s Department of Emergency Management, told CBS News that crews have been conducting “high-water vehicle rescues” across the state since Idalia had made landfall.

The Pasco County sheriff’s office said on social media that its employees have helped to evacuate more than 60 residents from their flooded homes.

During remarks Wednesday afternoon, President Joe Biden said that he has spoken to all governors of the states impacted by Idalia, saying, “If there’s anything the states need right now, I’m ready to mobilize that support.”

The president spoke to DeSantis on Monday and has already approved a disaster declaration for the state. The FEMA administrator also intends to travel to Florida today to assess the damage, per the Washington Post.

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

By 11 a.m., Idalia had been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, but the system is still expected to continue dealing significant damage as it moves to neighboring states. Both Georgia and South Carolina have been under a state of emergency since Tuesday in anticipation of Idalia’s landfall. As of 10 a.m., southern parts of Georgia were already beginning to be buffeted by the storm’s damaging winds and rain in cities like Valdosta.

The storm system is expected to reach Savannah, Georgia, later Wednesday evening. Brian Kemp, the state’s governor, said during a briefing that though Idalia likely won’t bring as much damage as 2018’s Hurricane Michael, Georgians should still be prepared.

“This is still a bad storm that’s coming through … People need to be ready when it comes through,” Kemp said, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

South Carolina governor Henry McMaster hasn’t issued any statewide evacuation orders, but warned of potential storm surges along the coast, per the State.

Photo: Chris O’Meara/AP
Photos: Hurricane Idalia Makes Landfall As Category 3 Storm