Flood waters from Hurricane Idalia inundate Steinhatchee, Florida
The president assessed the scale of the storm’s impact from the air, before meeting members of the public on a walking tour.
But while Mr Biden was joined by one of the state’s Republican senators – Rick Scott – his trip was snubbed by governor Ron DeSantis, a possible rival in the next presidential election.
“As I’ve told your governor, if there’s anything your state needs, I’m ready to mobilize that support,” Mr Biden said.
Idalia ploughed into Florida as a Category 3 hurricane on Wednesday morning before losing power as it moved inland through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
At around 5pm on Saturday afternoon the National Hurricane Center issued what it said was its final advisory on Idalia, noting that the post-tropical cyclone had moved away off Bermuda and that the storm warning for the island was discontinued.
Potentially dangerous surf and rip currents from Idalia will continue to hit the US east coast throughout the Labor Day weekend, it warned.
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Florida governor is facing negative headlines with Hurricane Idalia and the shooting in Jacksonville, but he has a chance to get good coverage too
Satellite images capture Florida before and after Hurricane Idalia made landfall
Idalia made landfall in Florida’s Big Bend as a Category 3 storm early Wednesday morning with wind speeds topping 125 mph.
The storm flooded streets, destroyed homes and downed power lines. Terrifying videos have shown a car being flipped into the air by a gust of wind and a gas station roof being blown off.
Water levels in the Steinhatchee River surged from 1 foot to 8 feet in just an hour, the National Weather Service said.
The storm was declared “an unprecedented event” by the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, because no major hurricanes on record have ever passed through the bay abutting the Big Bend.
Florida Highway Patrol said that two men were killed in two separate weather-related road accidents. In Georgia, a man was killed by a falling tree while he was trying to clear another tree off a highway
Hurricane Idalia could be US’s costliest climate disaster this year
Analysts are estimating that Hurricane Idalia may become the most costly climate disaster in the US this year, according to a report.
The storm — which made landfall near Big Bend, Florida, on Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane — caused an estimated $9.36bn based on early estimates from UBS, a risk analysis firm. However, those are only early estimates; Accuweather predicted the total damage could be somewhere between $18bn and $20bn.
The costs of climate disasters like Hurricane Idalia and the 15 other incidents recorded this year by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are becoming especially costly for insurers and risk management companies, according to The Guardian.
The mounting cost of climate disasters is making it increasingly difficult for insurers to do business in Florida
Why destructive hurricanes like Idalia often start with the letter ‘I’
Hundreds of thousands of people were left without power in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, and residents shared heartbreaking images of the destruction Idalia caused.
Idalia, which is pronounced Ee-DAL-ya and has Greek or Spanish origins, joined a long list of notoriously destructive hurricanes, whose names start with the letter “I”.
Read the full piece here:
Idalia tore through Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas this week
Florida residents share heartbreaking photos of Hurricane Idalia’s wrath
Florida residents shared heartbreaking photos of the destruction caused by Hurricane Idalia after the powerful storm swept into the state on Wednesday.
Idalia made landfall around 8am as an “extremely dangerous” Category 3 storm with 120mph winds and warnings of “catastrophic” coastal surge up to 15 feet in places. More than 250,000 customers were left without power on Wednesday.
The hurricane came ashore near Keaton Beach in Big Bend, southeast of Tallahassee, an area known as “Florida’s nature coast” and less densely-populated than other parts of the state.
But that was cold comfort for the small, tranquil communities dotting the coastline with Idalia forecast to be the strongest storm to hit the region in more than 100 years.
Idalia made landfall as a powerful, ‘extremely dangerous’ storm on Florida’s ‘nature coast’
Forecast shows Hurricane Idalia could hit Florida twice
Hurricane Idalia made landfall in northwestern Florida on Wednesday morning – bringing heavy winds, torrential rains and sending thousands of people fleeing for safety – and has since cut a path of destruction across southern Georgia en route to the Carolinas.
It was downgraded to tropical storm status by the National Hurricane Center after arriving in Keaton Beach in Florida’s Big Bend and has since lost seen its wind speeds drop from 125mph to 60mph but has still caused plenty of chaos.
While the storm is expected to drift out into the Atlantic Ocean over the weekend, the Global Forecasting System, a US federal hurricane projection model, has caused alarm by indicating that it could then circle back and strike the Sunshine State for a second time early next week.
According to The Daily Beast, other models, including that of the trusted European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, do not support that conclusion and such looping is considered highly unusual for tropical storms but is not unprecedented.
Powerful storm arrives in southeastern United States, bringing high winds and torrential rain
An NBC News photographer battled wind gusts of 100mph as he reported from Florida amid Hurricane Idalia’s landfall. Paul Rigney was on the ground in Perry at just after 8am on Wednesday 30 August when he was nearly blown off his feet. “The gust was so severe it lifted me, my camera and tripod off the ground. Hence the wobble halfway through,” Mr Rigney tweeted, responding to a video shared on Twitter of his report. He also explained that a billboard close to him “collapsed” in “roaring” winds.
Where is Hurricane Idalia now? Tropical storm system mapped
Hurricane Idalia was downgraded back to tropical storm status on Wednesday after making landfall in Keaton Beach in northeastern Florida’s Big Bend and crossing into Georgia, losing some of its power but still leaving behind a trail of flooding and destruction in its wake.
The storm is now headed for the Carolinas before dropping out into the Atlantic Ocean over the weekend but has so far proved far less destructive than initially feared, providing only glancing blows to Tampa Bay.
Even so, the 125mph winds with which it arrived from the Gulf of Mexico did plenty of damage, as captured by drones flying overhead, and left as many as half a million Floridians without power after ripping down electricity poles and cables across the north of the state.
Storm is zeroing in on Carolinas after leaving trail of devastation in northern Florida
Once again Tampa Bay area dodges direct hit by hurricane
Last year it was Hurricane Ian that drew a bead on Tampa Bay before abruptly shifting east to strike southwest Florida more than 130 miles (210 kilometers) away. This time it was Hurricane Idalia, which caused some serious flooding as it sideswiped the area but packed much more punch at landfall Wednesday, miles to the north.
In fact, the Tampa Bay area hasn’t been hit directly by a major hurricane for more than a century. The last time it happened, there were just a few hundred thousand people living in the region, compared with more than 3 million today.
Last year it was Hurricane Ian that drew a bead on Tampa Bay before abruptly shifting east to strike southwest Florida more than 130 miles (210 kilometers) away
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