Major hurricane Idalia nears Florida

 Tuesday, August 29, 2023 


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Florida residents are bracing for the impact of tropical storm Idalia, which is predicted to intensify into a major hurricane as it approaches the Gulf Coast. Preparations are in full swing as people load up on sandbags and evacuate low-lying areas.

The National Weather Service in Tampa Bay has urged residents to complete their storm preparations by Tuesday morning at the latest. Idalia has already caused heavy rain and disruptions in Cuba, particularly in the tobacco-producing province of Pinar del Rio.

The storm is forecasted to bring hurricane-force winds to Florida by late Tuesday, with its impact expected to escalate by Wednesday. This marks the first major storm of the hurricane season for Florida, further challenging the state, which is still recovering from the effects of last year’s Hurricane Ian. Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency in 46 counties and activated the National Guard to aid in rescue and recovery efforts.

Flights at Tampa International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport are set to close on Tuesday, and the Sunrail commuter rail service in Orlando will be suspended. The potential for Idalia to become a Category 3 hurricane has led to warnings of a “major impact” on the state. This storm adds to a summer of natural disasters worldwide, including wildfires, tropical storms, and flooding.

As Florida residents take precautions and make arrangements for the impending storm, authorities are closely monitoring Idalia’s progression and potential impact. The state’s proactive response and preparation highlight the importance of readiness in the face of natural disasters.

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