Hurricane Adalia hit Florida on Wednesday morning. Two motorists died due to the extreme weather conditions. More than 850 flights to and from Florida have been cancelled. The storm weakened from a Category 3 to Category 1 towards the end of the afternoon.
Hurricane Idalia made landfall in sparsely populated Taylor County around 7:45 a.m. local time. It was a Category 4 hurricane at the time. Coastal cities witnessed floods and strong winds caused trees to fall. Governor Ron DeSantis urged residents of his state to be careful and not take risks. During his press conference in Tallahassee, the lights flashed momentarily.
The weather services had already assumed that Idalia would quickly descend over land. Warm seawater in the Gulf of Mexico is the main source of storm fuel. The Category 1 hurricane is still very strong. Warnings of severe flooding, very strong winds and storm surge of approximately 3.5 to 5 metres, remain in place in coastal areas.
Authorities warned that strong winds and floods could be life-threatening. And in Pasco County, a 40-year-old motorist was killed Wednesday morning after he lost control of the steering wheel and crashed into a tree. Also in Alachua County, a 59-year-old driver crashed into a tree in “extremely rainy conditions.” They both died from their injuries.
And US media reported that electricity was cut off from about 130,000 homes in Florida early Wednesday morning. The Florida National Guard announced “full mobilization” due to the storm. Thousands of troops are being deployed to help. Previously, there were warnings of an increase in storms, heavy rains and damaging winds.
The storm is currently moving toward southern Georgia. It is also expected to reach South Carolina and North Carolina at a later stage. The wind speed is currently 125 miles per hour, or more than 200 kilometers. A devastating Category 4 hurricane requires winds of 130 mph. US airlines have already canceled more than 850 flights, and nearly 800 flights have been delayed.
Heavy rains and severe floods
“Very few people can survive storms and this storm is going to be deadly if we don’t get out there and take the storm seriously,” Diane Creswell, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said earlier. According to this service, the greatest danger comes from water.
On Thursday, Florida’s Gulf Coast and the states of Georgia, North and South Carolina could experience 100-200mm of rain. In some areas, it can fall up to 300 mm, according to the National Weather Service.
Idalia is the eighth major hurricane (as of Category 3) to make landfall in the United States since 2017. Earlier this week, Idalia already hit Cuba with flooding in the capital, Havana, and power outages as a result.
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