Idalia's wrath continues across Carolinas with life-threatening flooding following historic Florida landfall
After Hurricane Idalia made its historic landfall along Florida's Gulf Coast, Idalia swamped Georgia and the Carolinas with flooding before its exit in the Atlantic Ocean.
KEATON BEACH, Fla. — After Hurricane Idalia made historic landfall along Florida's Gulf Coast, Idalia flooded Georgia and the Carolinas before its exit in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Category 3 storm made landfall on the coast of Big Bend, Florida, near Keaton Beach, at 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday.
With 125 mph winds and significant flooding, it posed an immediate threat to lives and property.
The cyclone has since weakened to a tropical storm with winds of 60 mph as Hurricane Charleston, SC Florida decimated communities north of Idalia tracker: live radar updates, power outages, clocks and warnings, and storm surge.
While Governor Ron DeSantis told the media during a news conference Wednesday afternoon that there were no confirmed deaths, the Florida Highway Patrol said the two men were in Gainesville and Pasco County because of Idalia He said he died in separate rain-related accidents.
One man's pickup truck veered and crashed into a tree, while the other man lost control and crashed into a tree with his truck.
DRONE VIDEO REVEALS CYCLONE IDALIA LANDFALL DAMAGE NEAR KEATON COAST REVEALS FLOODING
The Fox Prediction Center said Idalia was the strongest hurricane to hit the Big Bend region — specifically near Cedar Key — in 125 years, and it dates back to an unnamed 1896 storm.
The governor said he believed Cyclone Ian was deadlier because of the storm's path, and that people were evacuated when Idalia's storm surge was predicted to be between 10 and 15 feet.
With Hurricane Ian, I can tell you, as soon as this storm hit, within an hour of it hitting, there were frantic phone calls to 911 about people literally drowning in their homes locally,\ DeSantis recalls, recalling Lee County, Florida, where Ian made landfall. \I think part of that is when you see storm surge of this nature like we saw during Ian, I think a lot of people really pay attention to the warnings that their local officials issue, because, you know, you can't hide from the storm surge in your house,\ DeSantis said.
Tropical Storm Idalia Rushes Eastward Over Georgia, Carolinas After hitting Florida's Gulf Coast with threatening storm surge and extreme winds, Idalia rushed inland and triggered rare Extreme Wind Warnings for four counties north of Big Bend, including part of Interstate 10.
Hurricane Idalia's landfall in Florida is blasting devastating storm surges and destructive, life-threatening winds as the storm's core makes landfall on the state's Big Bend. (FOX Weather) Idalia roared toward southern Georgia, still threatening hurricane-force winds.
Valdosta struck a wind gust of 67 mph and was under a rare Flash Flood Emergency, the FOX Prediction Center reported.
DRAMATIC PHOTOS, VIDEO FOOTAGE OF THE HISTORIC HISTORY OF HURRICANE IDALI IN FLORIDA
Florida's streets flooded as storm surge lifts Prior to the arrival of the terrible storm, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that Idalia's storm surge could reach heights of 16 feet in some places near the storm center, setting modern records.
Just after sunrise, Cedar Key in Florida reported a storm surge of 6.07 feet during the astronomical low tide, and forecasters expect a higher value as Idalia churns further inland.
This is the second highest level ever observed behind Hurricane Hermine at 6.10 feet.
Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue said more than 700 crew members used heavy equipment to reopen roads, inspect bridges on Big Bend and North Florida and restore traffic lights. \One thing we noticed while surveying the area is that the traffic signals have definitely run out of power in this area,\ Perdue said. \\We have generators on the route.
We will install generators to run these signals as quickly as possible.
ROBERT RAY OF FOX WEATHER BLASTED WITH STRONG WINDS WHILE REPORTING HURRICANE IDALIA
On Wednesday morning, floodwaters flooded a mobile home park in St. Petersburg.
The National Guard sent more than 100 soldiers and high-water vehicles to help the affected counties.
According to St. Petersburg city officials, fire brigade rescue teams rescued more than 75 people from flooding on Wednesday.
Treasure Island was also covered in floodwaters as Idalia's storm surge pushed inland, and officials were still concerned about rising waters during high tide around noon, with significant flooding forecasts continuing throughout the day.
Idalia causes more than 650,000 power outages During the height of the storm, more than 650,000 power outages were reported, with most of the reports coming from Wakulla, Taylor, Dixie and Levy counties, areas where some residents decided to stay in their homes despite evacuation orders in at least 30 counties that are in a state of emergency.
More than 210,000 outages were reported in Georgia as Idalia slammed the province.
Days before Idalia's arrival, sources were pre-positioned when President Joe Biden approved Florida Gov.
Ron DeSantis' request for a pre-landing emergency declaration.
During Idalia's descent inside Idalia's eye wall, an impressive convective explosion and abundant lightning were seen on the eye wall.
Brian Emfinger, who was chasing a storm on Live Storms Media, experienced Idalia's disembarkation at Keaton Beach.
He reported strong winds in front of the eyewall.
Although a wind gauge recorded winds of 83 mph before toppling over, Emfinger predicted winds of over 100 mph.
WATCH: VIDEO SHOWS HURRICANE IDALIA'S DANGEROUS STORM SURGE CLEARWATER, FLORIDA
After the eye passed, the winds returned even more ferociously, blowing over land and bringing a wall of water with it.
Emfinger noted that the storm surge came quickly through the back eyewall and rose several feet in just a few minutes.
Charleston, North Carolina not protected Tidal levels rose to 9.23 feet at the Port of Charleston, the observation area's fifth-highest peak in history, according to the National Weather Service.
The level was shorter than the storm surges created during Hurricanes Mathew, Irma and Hugo, but it led to flooded streets and dune erosion along beaches.
The FOX Prediction Center said Idalia's combination, the swells from Franklin and the impacts from the moon's scene created the perfect event for flooding around other low-lying communities in Charleston and the Carolinas.
There were no injuries reported Wednesday evening, but several cars appeared to be trapped in high water.