Idalia: Biden signs Major Disaster Declaration

Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Florida’s Big Bend early Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center, and continues moving northeast toward the Atlantic Ocean.

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The storm made landfall around 7:45 a.m. EDT near Keaton Beach, Florida, according to the NHC.

Idalia became the third hurricane of the 2023 Atlantic season early Tuesday, intensifying near the western tip of Cuba and skirting the west coast of Florida before making landfall.

Biden visits FEMA headquarters, heading to Florida Saturday

Update 2:20 p.m. EDT Aug. 31: President Biden visited the FEMA headquarters for a briefing on Idalia, according to CNN.

Biden announced he will be heading to Florida on Saturday morning during the briefing.

-- Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Biden signs Major Disaster Declaration

Update 1:26 p.m. EDT Aug. 31: President Joe Biden has signed a Major Disaster Declaration allowing federal resources to help with the response to the destruction left behind in Florida from the now-former Hurricane Idalia, CNN reported.

The president has spoken several times with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who is also running for the office of the president.

-- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

TS Idalia causing flooding in North Carolina

Update 5:30 a.m. EDT Aug. 31: Tropical Storm Idalia is causing flash flooding across southeastern North Carolina early Thursday.

Idalia was downgraded to a tropical storm Wednesday afternoon after making landfall along Florida’s Big Bend as a Category 3 hurricane.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the South Santee River northward to the North Carolina/Virginia border including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

As of 5 a.m. EDT, the storm was 45 miles south-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 60 mph.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Idalia producing heavy rains over Carolinas

Update 10:56 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: Tropical storm Idalia dumped heavy rains as it moved through South Carolina on Wednesday night.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. EDT advisory, Idalia had weakened to maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. The storm was located about 15 miles north-northwest of Charleston and was moving to the northeast at 21 mph.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Savannah River north to the North Carolina-Virginia state line, the hurricane center said. That includes Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

According to the NHC, a storm surge warning is in effect from the Savannah River northward to the South Santee River in South Carolina.

Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours, according to the hurricane center. Idalia is expected to remain a tropical storm when it moves off the coast.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Parts of Charleston metro area flooded

Update 10:10 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: The North Charleston Police Department reported several instances of flooded roads as Tropical Storm Idalia approached the area, WCSC-TV reported.

A king tide’s arrival brought near-record tide levels and flooding to Charleston’s Battery and other areas of downtown, along with possible erosion at Edisto Beach, according to The Post and Courier.

High tide levels topped 9 feet in the Charleston area, bringing flooding to the city’s historic Battery and other areas on the peninsula, the newspaper reported.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

South Georgia man killed by falling tree

Update 8:52 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: A South Georgia man died after he was hit by a tree that fell on him while Idalia moved through the area.

According to the Valdosta Daily Times, the man and another person were cutting up a fallen tree blocking a road in Lowndes County when a second tree fell, Sheriff Ashley Paulk said.

The second person was seriously injured when the tree fell on them, the sheriff said.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Idalia moves into South Carolina

Update 8:02 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: Tropical Storm Idalia has moved into South Carolina as it continues its destructive march through the South.

In its 8 p.m. EDT advisory, the National Hurricane Center said that Idalia was located 60 miles west of Charleston. The storm weakened somewhat, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and was moving northeast at 21 mph.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Altamaha Sound, Georgia, northward to the North Carolina-Virginia state line, including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

According to the hurricane center, a storm surge warning is in effect from St. Catherine’s Sound, Georgia, to South Santee River, South Carolina.

Idalia’s center is expected to move near or along the coast of South Carolina on Wednesday night and then move offshore near the coast of North Carolina on Thursday. The storm is expected to move into the western Atlantic Ocean by the weekend.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

‘Brief, weak’ tornado confirmed in suburb of Charleston

Update 7:15 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: Officials with the National Weather Service in Charleston confirmed a tornado touched down in the suburban city of Goose Creek on Wednesday, WCSC-TV reported.

Emergency Management officials reported that a car flipped over at the intersection of Camelot Drive and South Goose Creek Boulevard around 12:22 p.m. EDT, according to the newspaper.

Officials with the Goose Creek Police Department said a Honda Accord was traveling on U.S. 52 when a gust of wind lifted the car and flipped it onto another vehicle, according to WCBD-TV.

Officials characterized the storm as a “brief, weak” tornado.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Flood advisories issued for Augusta, Savannah

Update 6:31 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: The heavy rains caused by Tropical Storm Idalia have led to the National Weather Service issuing a flood advisory for the Augusta area until 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday, The Augusta Chronicle reported. Between 1 and 3 inches of rain has already fallen, leading to concerns about flooding in the area.

Along the coast, the Chatham Emergency Management Agency said that the area was under a flood watch until 2 a.m. EDT on Thursday, the Savannah Morning News reported.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

DeSantis: 250K residents still without power

Update 6:10 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: In an evening news conference, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave an update in the aftermath of Idalia barreling up Florida’s west coast and the Big Bend area.

DeSantis said that 250,000 residents are still without power in the state, with most of the outages occurring in the counties that make up the Big Bend region. He added that the number had declined, and stated that power has already been restored to 315,000 residents.

The governor added that there was “no shortage of fuel,” and said that 224 crews are working to clear debris.

All of the state’s bridges are now open for travel, including the Cedar Key bridge, DeSantis told reporters. There is still a 15-mile stretch of eastbound Interstate 10 in Madison County that is closed, but DeSantis said that road should reopen for traffic later Wednesday.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Idalia downgraded to tropical storm

Update 5:01 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: Idalia has been downgraded to a tropical storm as the former Category 3 storm slashed through Florida and southern Georgia.

In its 5 p.m. EDT advisory, the National Hurricane Center said that the center of Idalia was located about 40 miles west of Savannah and about 115 miles west-southwest of Charleston, South Carolina.

Idalia had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and was moving northeast at 21 mph.

The Storm surge warnings and watches have been discontinued along the Gulf coast of Florida, the hurricane center said. The storm surge watch has also been discontinued along the Georgia coast.

In the latest advisory, a tropical storm warning is in effect from the Volusia-Brevard county line in Florida to the North Carolina-Virginia border. The warning also extends to Pamlico and Albermarle Sounds, the hurricane center said.

Idalia’s center is expected to move near or along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina on Wednesday night and then move offshore near the coast of North Carolina on Thursday. The storm is expected to move into the western Atlantic Ocean by the weekend.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Savannah airport cancels outgoing flights

Update 4:25 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: Departing flights from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport have been canceled for the rest of the day as Idalia approaches the area, the airport posted on social media.

The airport is still open and operational, but no flights will be leaving, officials said.

“Passengers should continue to check with their airline for rebooking options,” the airport said.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NC governor tells residents to stock up

Update 4:15 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: During a news conference on Wednesday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper urged residents to stock up on supplies and stay off flooded roads when Hurricane Idalia hits the area with heavy rainfall and localized flooding.

“We’re hoping for the best but preparing for (the) worst,” Cooper said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Cooper declared a state of emergency on Monday.

“Over the past 24 hours, we’ve seen Hurricane Idalia plow through the Southeast, leaving destruction behind,” Cooper said in a written statement on Wednesday. “Even though North Carolina isn’t its first stop, this storm’s heavy rains can do damage. I encourage people to listen to local officials and make sure you have a plan if you are in an area with a flood risk.”

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Biden speaks on Hurricane Idalia

Update 2:45 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: President Joe Biden on Wednesday afternoon spoke about the response to Hurricane Idalia, opening his remarks “The impacts of this storm are being felt throughout the Southeast,” The New York Times reported.

He also pledged help to Maui as communities on the Hawaiian island try to rebuild after massive wildfires.

-- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Idalia barely hurricane

Update 2:14 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: Idalia is about 100 miles west southwest of Savannah, Georgia, and has about 75 mph sustained wins. The storm is expected to move across Georgia and eastern Carolinas through Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A Category 1 hurricane has winds of between 74 and 95 mph.

Despite Idalia’s weakening, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said that there could still be high winds and flash flooding with “lots of rain,” The New York Times reported.

There may also be high wind gusts, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Deanne Criswell, said she will be traveling to Florida to join Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis “to do assessments and see firsthand what the impacts from this storm are,” CNN reported.

-- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Power outages

Update 1:50 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: As expected there are hundreds of thousands of people without power after Hurricane Idalia.

By the numbers:

  • Georgia - 108,000 customers
  • Florida - 272,000 customers

To see the latest numbers, visit poweroutage.us.

-- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Federal response to Hurricane Idalia

Update 1:36 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: President Joe Biden is regularly being briefed about the latest on the storm, and he is expected to speak Wednesday afternoon.

The New York Times reported that the president had called Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis after Idalia made landfall.

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Deanne Criswell said, “The president reiterated that if anything is needed from the federal government. " She added, “We will be able to support. We have over 1,000 personnel currently deployed, prepared to support not just Florida but all of our states that are in the path as needed.”

The administration has already mobilized more than 1,500 federal employees to the impacted areas, CNN reported. There are also 540 urban search and rescue team members in the region, according to FEMA. The Coast Guard and three disaster survivor assistance teams have also been sent to Florida.

Food and water supplies are at the ready, “pending requests from the states,” FEMA said, while the U.S. Department of Agriculture already approved the early issuance of September’s SNAP benefits.

Meanwhile, at the local government level, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said that its employees evacuated more than 60 people from flooded homes, The New York Times reported.

-- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Oak tree falls on Florida Governor’s Mansion

Update 1:05 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: An oak tree on the grounds of Florida’s Governor’s Mansion was damaged during Hurricane Idalia and part of it fell onto the building, according to Casey DeSantis, the state’s first lady.

No one was injured when the tree fell, but the state’s first lady and the couple’s children were at the residence at the time, The Associated Press reported.

Gov. Ron DeSantis was asked about the tree during a news conference and said he did not know the status of the tree, or if it could be saved.

“If they do cut down the whole tree, that’s just gonna be more room for my kids to hit baseballs in.”

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

DeSantis says no deaths have yet been confirmed

Update 12:41 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: Gov. Ron DeSantis says there have been no reported deaths related to Hurricane Idalia.

The Florida Highway Patrol had reported two people killed in separate single-vehicle accidents due to heavy rains. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has not confirmed those deaths.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Already a ‘heavy impact’ in Georgia, Kemp says

Update 12:25 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said in a press conference Wednesday that there had already been a “heavy impact” from Hurricane Idalia in the southern part of the state, including the possibility of nine to 10 inches of rain in places.

Around 70,000 Georgia residents are currently without power as of noon, according to PowerOutage.us.

All flights have been canceled for Wednesday at Hilton Head Island (South Carolina) Airport.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Noon update on Idalia from the NHC

Update 12:02 p.m. EDT Aug. 30: Maximum sustained winds of Hurricane Idalia are now near 85 mph with higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm is 25 miles east-northeast of Valdosta, Georgia, moving north-northeast at 20 mph.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

South Carolina tornado watches

Update 11:55 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: A tornado watch has been issued for parts of South Carolina and portions of North Carolina as Hurricane Idalia moves to the north-northeast.

The watch will remain in effect until 10 p.m., EDT Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, N.C.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Water rescues taking place in Georgia

Update 11:30 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: According to the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, water rescues are taking place in Lowndes County due to very heavy rainfall around the edge of Hurricane Idalia.

A flash flood emergency is in effect in southern Georgia as the area is registering rainfall of 3 to 5 inches in less than an hour, the NWS said.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NHC 11 a.m. update

Update 11 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: Hurricane Idalia is now a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds at 90 mph.

The storm is 15 miles south-southeast of Valdosta, Georgia, with a current track that will take it out of Georgia and up the East Coast to South Carolina before it moves out to sea.

The storm is moving NNE at 20 mph.

First fatality from storm confirmed

Update 10:43 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: The Florida Highway Patrol has confirmed that a driver was going too fast for weather conditions and crashed off I-75 in Pasco County as Hurricane Idalia was moving onshore.

The driver, who has not been identified, died when his car hit a tree, FHP officials said.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Damage beginning to be seen

Update 10:20 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: As the sun has come up and Hurricane Idalia moved inland, the damage the storm left behind is beginning to be seen.

There are widespread reports of flooding, downed trees and structural damage to homes and buildings as Idalia, with winds of more than 125 mph, made landfall Wednesday morning.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NHC updates the storm’s position, strength

Update 10 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: As the storm nears the Georgia/Florida line, NOAA radar data indicated that the maximum sustained winds are near 105 mph with higher gusts, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm was 25 miles south of Valdosta at 10 a.m. the NHC said. The storm is moving at 18 mph.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

The storm is heading north into Georgia

Update 9:46 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: The storm is now moving between Tallahassee and Jacksonville, over Interstate 10.

The National Weather Service said Hamilton County residents should expect sustained winds of up to 110 miles per hour through mid-morning as the storm moves northeast.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Idalia is weakening

Update 9:28 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: Hurricane Idalia continues to weaken as it moves inland heading toward Georgia. The storm is now a Category 2 storm with sustained winds of 110 miles per hour.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Flooding is happening along the coast

Update 9:23 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: Major flooding is possible near Steinhatchee as the Steinhatchee River reaches 8.02 feet near the town.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

More power outages reported

Update 9:11 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: As of 9 a.m., more than 200,000 customers are reported without power in Florida.

Around 30,000 power company workers are staged and ready to move in to repair lines when conditions are safe enough, state emergency officials said.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Authorities warn more water is coming

Update 9 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: The Sarasota Police Department is warning residents to stay indoors as roads along the bayfront and in the city’s downtown area.

Emergency authorities in the state are telling coastal residents to stay aware as water will continue to rise as the back side of the storm comes ashore.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Idalia moving quickly

Update 8:41 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: Hurricane Idalia is now moving northeast into southern Georgia and will then move along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina later today and into Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Several airports are closed in Florida

Update 8:19 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: Several airports across Florida are closed, including Tampa, St. Pete-Clearwater, Sarasota and Tallahassee, the Federal Aviation Authority is reporting.

They could reopen on Thursday, depending on damage assessments.

The Gainesville Regional Airport is closed until 5 p.m. EDT Wednesday, according to its website.

Storm surge inundating Cedar Key

Update 8 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: According to reports from Cedar Key, the storm surge in the town of 700 is at 6 feet.

The National Hurricane Center warns that water levels “along the coast of the Florida Big Bend are rising rapidly.”

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Idalia makes landfall

Update 7:47 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: Hurricane Idalia has made landfall in Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

More power outages reported

Update 7:40 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: Power was out for more than 100,000 Florida residents as of 7:30 a.m. according to PowerOutage.us, a site that tracks outages across the United States.

The majority of the outages are along the Big Bend area, according to the site.

The storm is headed for landfall in Florida’s Big Bend at Keaton Beach, according to state officials.

At a press conference early Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said that more than 100,000 Flordia customers had already had their power knocked out and restored.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Idalia now back to a Category 3

Update 7 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: The winds from Hurricane Idalia are now being clocked at 125 mph, down from 130 mph, making the storm a Category 3 as it nears an expected landfall in the next hour or so.

Forecasters warn that the change in wind speed does not diminish the damage the storm will do.

The storm has gained forward speed, now moving at 18 mph. Forecasters say Idalia has taken more of a northeastern turn as it heads toward the coast.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Gov. DeSantis: ‘Don’t put your life at risk’

Update 6:30 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: Gov. Ron DeSantis told Florida residents to expect impacts far beyond the eye wall,” as Hurricane Idalia makes landfall in a few hours.

DeSantis, speaking from Tallahassee, told residents that it was too late to move out of the way of the Category 4 storm, and that “as soon as it is safe to do so,” search and rescue operations will begin.

“Don’t put your life at risk by doing anything dumb right now,” DeSantis said.

Equipment and manpower have been staged in areas near where the storm’s greatest impact is expected, DeSantis said. “There will be a lot of help coming on the backend of this storm,” he said.

Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida Department of Emergency Management, said state officials believe that Keaton Beach in Florida’s Big Bend will likely be the spot where Idalia will make landfall.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NHC issues 6 a.m. position for Idalia

Update 6 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: The National Hurricane Center has issued an update on Hurricane Idalia’s position.

As of 6 a.m. EDT, winds are picking up in the Cedar Key and Apalachee Bay areas as the storm moves north-northeast, according to the NHC.

Maximum sustained winds are 130 mph, making the storm a Category 4. Idalia continues to move at 17 mph as it approaches Florida’s coast.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Idalia could get stronger, NHC says

Update 5:24 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: While Idalia’s sustained winds have reached 130 mph, the National Hurricane Center says the storm still has a few hours left to intensify before it makes landfall.

The NHC said the Big Bend area – the area where Florida’s curved coastline connects the state’s panhandle to the peninsula – will see a storm surge of 12 to 16 feet as Idalia pushes Gulf water inland ahead of an expected mid-morning landfall.

A Category 4 storm has sustained winds between 130-156 mph. According to the NHC, with a Category 4 storm, “Catastrophic damage will occur. Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls.

“Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Idalia now a Category 4 hurricane

Update 5 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: Idalia has grown into a Category 4 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said as the storm heads toward a landfall on Florida’s Big Bend.

Maximum sustained winds were measured at 130 mph with higher gusts.

A hurricane warning has been issued from Altamaha Sound, Georgia, to Edisto Beach, South Carolina, the NHC said in the latest advisory, as Idalia is forecast to move across Florida and into southern Georgia and up the East Coast.

A tropical storm warning has been issued from north of Surf City, North Carolina, to the North Carolina/Virginia border, including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to give an update on Idalia at 6:30 a.m. EDT.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Idalia continues to strengthen

Update 4:40 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: Hurricane Idalia’s winds have reached 125 mph, according to a 4 a.m. EDT update from the National Hurricane Center.

The storm is about 90 miles south of Tallahassee moving north-northeast at 17 mph.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Idalia now a Category 3 storm

Update 2:05 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: Hurricane Idalia is now a major storm, growing to a Category 3 storm packing 120 mph winds.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s 2 a.m. EDT advisory, Idalia was located about 100 miles southwest of Cedar Key and 175 miles south of Tallahassee.

The storm has slowed down slightly, still moving north at 15 mph.

The hurricane center said that Idalia is forecast to become a Category 4 storm before it reaches the Big Bend region of Florida.

A hurricane warning remains in effect from the middle of Longboat Key northward to Indian Pass on Florida’s Panhandle. That includes Tampa Bay.

A tropical storm warning is still in effect from West of Indian Pass to Mexico Beach, and on the eastern U.S. coast from the Sebastian Inlet in Florida to Surf City, North Carolina.

Idalia moving closer to landfall

Update 1:10 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: In a 1 a.m. update, the National Hurricane Center said that Idalia continued to churn closer to the Big Bend area of Florida.

The storm was located about 115 miles southwest of Cedar Key and 160 miles south of Tallahassee. Maximum sustained winds were at 110 mph, still below the threshold of a major Category 3 storm.

The Big Bend area has not seen a Category 3 or stronger storm in more than a century, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

Idalia continues to move north at 16 mph, the hurricane center said.

On Florida’s west coast, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport reported sustained winds of 37 mph with a gust to 61 mph. In Tampa, a tornado watch was issued for parts of the city.

The next full advisory by the hurricane center will be issued at 2 a.m. EDT.

Catastrophic storm surge, destructive winds expected

Update 12:30 a.m. EDT Aug. 30: The National Hurricane Center, in its 12 a.m., update said that the center of Idalia was located about 120 miles southwest of Cedar Key and about 175 miles south of Tallahassee.

Maximum sustained winds at the center of Idalia were clocked at 110 mph, making it a shade under Category 3 status. The storm was moving north at 17 mph and was expected to make landfall early Wednesday.

According to the hurricane center, Idalia is forecast to grow into an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm.

The next full advisory by the National Hurricane Center will be issued at 2 a.m. EDT.

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