(KTAB/KRBC) – While most of us Texans are starting to look forward to Labor Day weekend, and a full Saturday of college football, other people in the eastern US from Florida to the Carolinas have their focus on something more important: Hurricane Idalia.
It’s the first major hurricane to hit the US this year. Hurricane Idalia is strengthening in the eastern Gulf Coast. It is currently a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 100 miles per hour.
Idalia is forecasted to rapidly intensify into a Category 3 hurricane by the time it makes landfall Wednesday morning in Florida’s Big Bend region. Hurricane warnings are set from Tallahassee to Tampa, Florida
Here is the path of Hurricane Idalia:
A category 3 hurricane contains winds up to 130 miles per hour with catastrophic storm surge up to 12 feet, and causes extensive damage. Some areas in the red outlined section could get up to 15 feet. Widespread power outages are already forecasted ahead of landfall.
Below is the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale:
For example, Hurricane Katrina was a Category 3 hurricane and became one of, if not the, deadliest hurricanes to date. Hurricane Idalia is expected to weaken once it makes landfall.
However, the storm will still have hurricane strength in Georgia. Idalia is expected to retain tropical storm strength through as it moves northeast into the Carolinas.
Outer bands of rain containing gusty winds are moving into parts of western Florida. Key West and Sarasota are some of the locations that have clocked wind gusts of 40+ miles per hour.
Rainfall amounts are expected to range anywhere from 5 to 12 inches in areas located near the eye of the storm. Tornadoes are also a threat within this hurricane. With all hazards possible, this storm has the potential to be life-threatening.
Below are a few key messages regarding Hurricane Idalia:
Florida Governor Ron Desantis has already issued a State of Emergency and evacuation orders ahead of the storm. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has also issued a State of Emergency Tuesday.
We are safe from any hurricane worries here in the Big Country, but be sure to check on any friends or relatives that live along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast as Hurricane Idalia continues to strengthen before landfall.