Florida Braces for Storm Idalia’s Approach, Soon to Become a Hurricane

Florida is on high alert as Tropical Storm Idalia is set to intensify into a hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm’s potential impact on Florida could be significant, with authorities already taking preventive measures.

Idalia is currently making its way towards Cuba. However, its strength is such that storm surges and intense winds are already forecasted for Florida.

The National Hurricane Center reports that Idalia has sustained winds of 65 mph, with even stronger gusts, and is located about 90 miles south of Cuba. These winds span an area up to 70 miles from its center.

Precautionary Measures

In response to Idalia’s threat, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 33 counties on Sunday night.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has started mobilizing response personnel to tackle the storm’s aftermath.

Speaking from the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, DeSantis warned, “Floridians along our Gulf Coast should remain vigilant even if they are currently outside the [warning zone] center.” He also announced the deployment of 1,100 National Guard members and the establishment of command centers to address potential power outages and other damages.

Expected Impact

Idalia, possibly as a hurricane, is forecasted to hit Florida by Wednesday. Upon its arrival, it might exhibit sustained winds exceeding 115 mph, with gusts up to 140 mph.

Tampa is among the cities expected to be affected early Wednesday morning, around 2:00 a.m., with repercussions possibly extending to Tallahassee.

While there’s a chance Idalia might slightly deviate from its current path, it’s still expected to impact Florida, though the exact point remains uncertain.

Forecasts also warn of storm surges in Southwest Florida and the Florida Keys.

“The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to flood,” the forecast states.

Alert in Mexico

Florida isn’t the only region on alert. In Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula and Quintana Roo have also activated emergency protocols in anticipation of Idalia’s arrival.

Authorities urge Central Florida residents to start hurricane preparations and secure their belongings at home to prevent further damage.

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