Hurricane Idalia Targets Florida : Storm Idalia is forecasted to become an “extremely dangerous major hurricane” as it approaches the western coast of Florida, particularly impacting Tampa. Ron DeSantis and Joe Biden have both declared states of emergency. On Wednesday, forecasters predict strong winds, heavy rain, and dangerous storm waves. There are storm and weather warnings for around 14 million people in the state, with counties preparing for evacuations and school closings.
“Don’t get comfortable,” warned Mayor Dan Allers of Fort Myers Beach, recovering from Hurricane Ian’s devastating impact last year. Officials expect storm waves up to 11 feet and winds exceeding 111 mph. The storm will impact more than just Florida. Heavy rain may also occur in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Governor DeSantis discussed the severity of the upcoming storm at a news conference. “This storm will be powerful. “This will have many effects on Florida,” he said. DeSantis urged residents, especially those in low-lying areas, to relocate to higher ground immediately. Over 1,100 National Guard members called, and 400,000 gallons of fuel were ready for gas stations on escape routes.
Hernando County Emergency Management Director David DeCarlo expects damage to homes, buildings, and structures. This storm surge will change lives. Officials agreed with DeCarlo, predicting power outages due to the strengthening storm. They emphasized that storm surges, caused by hurricane winds pushing seawater upstream, pose the greatest threat to life.
President Biden declared an emergency in Florida, allowing government resources to aid the state with the hurricane. Alongside 1,100 National Guardsmen, the state has deployed 2,400 high-water vehicles and rescue tools for Idalia’s potential landfall.
Forecasters predict heavy rain in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, north of Florida. Hurricane Franklin is a danger east of Idalia. Franklin’s storm surges may be fatal for the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda people. Franklin is unlikely to reach land.
Hurricane Idalia fell in Cuba. Many had to evacuate west coast towns. On Monday, floodwaters covered Guanimar, a small fishing town south of Havana. Yadira Alvarez, a neighbor, said her house had knee-high water.
People are debating climate change’s impact on storms like Idalia and Franklin as they approach. While the impact of climate change on storm frequency remains uncertain, higher sea temperatures are believed to intensify hurricanes and heavy rainfall. As storm Idalia approaches, Floridians are urged to implement storm plans and heed evacuation orders and warnings.