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Hurricane Idalia Update: Central Florida is breathing a sigh of relief as the Gulf Coast suffers

Hurricane Idalia made landfall early Wednesday morning as a powerful and destructive Category 3 hurricane. The storm slammed Florida’s Big Bend coast with maximum sustained winds of more than 100 miles per hour and catastrophic flooding.

Hurricane Idalia is now moving inland after churning its way into Florida’s Big Bend on Wednesday morning as an extremely dangerous storm with maximum sustained winds of more than 100 miles per hour.

As the National Hurricane Center warned that catastrophic storm surges were occurring along the coast, it is feared that many areas could suffer life-threatening flooding of up to 16 feet of water

Idalia made landfall near Keaton Beach at 8 a.m as a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour.

As the storm churned through its way through the Gulf of Mexico, Idalia rapidly intensified to a Category 4 hurricane overnight before being downgraded as it reached Florida’s west coast.

Fortunately here in Central Florida we can now breathe a sigh of relief, but sadly for others, the storm has left a devastating trail of destruction in its wake, with at least two deaths reported amid Hurricane Idalia's trek across the state.

Along the coastline, homes were underwater up to their rooflines and some structures, boats and docks were being swept away by the power of the storm surge.

Away from the coast, authories warned that high levels of rainfall could increase the chance of inland flooding.

While Central Florida dodged the worst effects of Idalia, outer bands of the storm brought heavy rain. A tornado watch was issued for all of Central Florid through 3 p.m. today, but the watch was canceled just before noon.

In Tampa, there is major flooding including Tampa's iconic waterfront Bayshore Blvd.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently said the 2023 hurricane season would be far busier than initially forecast, partly because of extremely warm ocean temperatures. The season runs through Nov. 30, with August and September typically the peak.

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