Hurricane Idalia is a major hurricane that is threatening Florida. The storm is expected to make landfall on Wednesday afternoon or evening along the state’s Gulf Coast.

Idalia is the seventh named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. It formed as a tropical storm on Monday morning in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The storm quickly strengthened into a hurricane and then a major hurricane on Tuesday.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a hurricane warning for the entire Florida Gulf Coast, from Sarasota County to Franklin County. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Florida Panhandle from Escambia County to Walton County.

The NHC is forecasting that Idalia will make landfall as a major hurricane with sustained winds of 115 mph. The storm could also bring up to 10 inches of rain to parts of Florida.

Impacts of Hurricane Idalia

Idalia is expected to bring a variety of impacts to Florida, including:

  • Strong winds: Sustained winds of 115 mph and gusts up to 150 mph could cause widespread damage to trees, power lines, and structures.
  • Heavy rain: Up to 10 inches of rain could fall in some areas, causing flooding and mudslides.
  • Storm surge: A storm surge of up to 10 feet is possible along the coast, which could inundate low-lying areas.
  • Tornadoes: Several tornadoes could form along the storm’s path.

Evacuations

Several counties in Florida have issued evacuation orders for coastal areas. Residents in these areas should evacuate as soon as possible.

Preparations

Residents in Florida should take the following precautions to prepare for Hurricane Idalia:

  • Stay informed about the storm’s track and intensity.
  • Make an evacuation plan and have a place to stay if you need to evacuate.
  • Secure loose outdoor objects.
  • Bring in pets and livestock.
  • Stock up on food, water, and other supplies.
  • Charge your phones and other electronic devices.
  • Have a plan for how you will communicate with family and friends if the power goes out.

Hurricane Idalia is a dangerous storm and residents in Florida should take it seriously. By taking precautions now, you can help to stay safe during the storm.

In addition to the above, here are some additional things to keep in mind as Hurricane Idalia approaches Florida:

  • If you are evacuating, do so early and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
  • If you are staying home, make sure your home is properly secured and that you have a plan for what to do if the power goes out.
  • Be aware of the dangers of storm surge and flooding.
  • Stay tuned to local news and weather reports for the latest updates on Hurricane Idalia.

Hurricane Idalia is a serious storm and it is important to take precautions to stay safe. By following the advice of local officials and taking steps to prepare your home and family, you can help to ensure that you stay safe during the storm.

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