Hurricane Idalia Makes Landfall in Florida as Strong Category 3 Storm

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Hurricane Idalia has made landfall in Florida’s Big Bend region Wednesday as a strong Category 3 storm.

Idalia made landfall near Keaton Beach in the Florida Big Bend around 7:45 a.m. It maintained its status as a “major” hurricane at the time of landfall with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Hurricane-force winds extend 25 miles out from the storm’s center, but tropical storm-force winds are extending up to 175 miles out from there. However, as of 9:00 a.m., Idalia’s maximum sustained winds had diminished to 110 mph.

“Water levels along the coast of the Florida Big Bend are rising rapidly,” the NHC warned, pointing to a NOAA National Ocean Service tide gauge at Cedar Key reporting “water level of 5.9 feet above mean higher high water, which is an approximation of inundation in that area.”

The NHC added in an 8:00 a.m. update that the eye of the storm is expected to make its way to southern Georgia Wednesday afternoon or evening and move along the coasts of the Carolinas. It noted that the storm is expected to maintain its hurricane status as it reaches the Peach State.

Famed meteorologist Jim Cantore shared videos from Cedar Key, Florida, showing catastrophic flooding in the region, with water engulfing standing structures.

Gov. Ron DeSantis noted that the NHC is expecting storm surge to reach up to 16 feet in some areas, which officials have deemed “life-threatening.”

“Meteorologists are also pointing to a rare blue supermoon which could further raise tides above normal levels just as Idalia pounds the coastline,” the AFP reports.

This story is developing.

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