As of early afternoon, more than 280,000 Florida residents were still without electricity. PowerOutage.US reports that as of early afternoon in Florida, more than 280,000 people were still without electricity. Before the storm, at least 30 counties in Florida issued an evacuation order. Idalia, a Category 3 hurricane that was catastrophic in nature, made landfall at Keaton beach on the Big Bend Coast. This is less than 90 miles south of Tallahassee, the capital of Florida. According to the National Weather Service, Tallahassee, the river gauge in the small town Steinhatchee along the Big Bend Coast surged from one foot to eight feet in just an hour. Makatla (L) Ritchter and Keiphra Line wade in floodwaters after being forced to evacuate their Tarpon Springs home by Hurricane Idalia floodwaters, August 30, 2023.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said, "Don't mess around with this storm. Don't do anything to put your life in danger." Tallahassee mayor John Dailey said to NBC News Idalia will be the largest storm in Florida's history to hit Florida state capital. Major General John Haas is the leader of the Florida National Guard. He said that they are currently conducting search-and-rescue operations along Florida's western coast counties. Haas, at a recent press conference, said that the Guard was fully mobilized and had more than 5,000 members of service supporting emergency response. A truck drives through the flooded streets in Tarpon Springs Florida caused by Hurricane Idalia, which passed offshore on August 30, 2023.
American Airlines has suspended its operations in Tampa, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Gainesville, and Savannah, Georgia. 167 flights have been canceled. Joe Biden, President of the United States, approved a declaration of emergency Monday in anticipation that Hurricane Idalia would land. The declaration allows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to coordinate relief efforts with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.