At least two people died, floods, interruption of services and powerful winds were registered after the climatic phenomenon hit Florida this Wednesday, August 30. Although it made landfall as a category 3 hurricane, on a scale of 5, it was later downgraded to level 1. Meteorological authorities expect that Idalia will not return to the southern state of the United States. However, it leaves extensive effects.
This Wednesday, August 30, Idalia reached the west coast of Florida as a category 3 hurricane and was subsequently downgraded to level 1, on a scale of 5.
The climate phenomenon generated serious incidents, despite the fact that its power gradually decreased. The authorities reported that at least two people died in traffic accidents, related to the intense rains and strong winds caused by Idalia.
The National Weather Service in Tallahassee said it was an “unprecedented” event, since no major hurricane had passed through Florida Bay.
The alarms were on for the arrival of Idalia, after state Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in 26 counties and urged the evacuations of thousands of people.
Residents of coastal areas were removed from their homes in advance to prevent casualties from the force of the hurricane, which made landfall in the Big Bend region.
About 200,000 users were quickly without power as trees were blown amid 205-kilometer-per-hour winds and downed power lines. Meanwhile, the water filled the streets, generating flooding and exceeding the level of roofs.
The fire department warned that there was debris on the road and that the streets of the city center were filled with water. Flooding spread across 200 miles from Tampa to Tallahassee.
The authorities of both towns urged citizens who disobeyed evacuation calls to remain in place and take refuge. In addition, they requested that they avoid the consumption of water, because the rainwater system was collapsed.
“Make no mistake, this hurricane left its mark. The reality is that we have not yet finished dealing with the consequences of this great storm,” said Ben Weich, mayor of the town of St. Petersburg.
Idalia also impacted Georgia
The hurricane crossed the Florida border and reached Georgia. According to experts from the National Hurricane Center, it is unlikely that the climatic phenomenon will pass through the coastal state again, while they warn that it could reach North Carolina and Virginia, although as a tropical storm, until it enters the Atlantic Ocean and fade away.
Daniel Brown, a member of the hurricane agency, predicted strong winds during the end of Wednesday and the beginning of Thursday in both Carolinas.
Georgia, Idalia’s second victim on her tour of the United States, suffered a similar situation. Maximum gusts of 101 k/h were recorded at the Valdosta airport.
The hurricane approached St. Simons Island, Georgia’s most populous barrier island, home to about 15,000 residents, increasing the waves that crashed into the port.
However, the outlook is not as bad as expected. Governor Brian Kemp said the damage appears to be less than that of 2018 Hurricane Michael.
As it crossed into southern Georgia, the National Hurricane Center announced that Idalia weakened to a Category 1. The latest announcement indicated that the winds dropped to 90 kph.
“Idalia is forecast to be a tropical storm as it moves near the northeastern coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina tonight and Thursday,” the specialized agency analyzed.
With Reuters and AP
Source: France 24