Idalia Live Updates: The storm is strengthening into a Category 2 hurricane
Hurricane Adalia is Landfall forecast Wednesday morning in Big Bend, Florida, north of Tampa.
The storm is expected to intensify as it approaches Florida, with the potential to become a major Category 3 hurricane.
The latest developments
August 29, 6:26 p.m
Effects of Idalia’s Journey
More than 2,200 flights were grounded on Tuesday and more than 500 flights were canceled across the United States as Hurricane Idalia approached.
So far, more than 500 US flights have been canceled for Wednesday.
Currently, Tampa International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport are closed. Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is scheduled to close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
– Amanda Miley from ABC News
August 29, 6:40 p.m
DeSantis says it’s time to evacuate
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis urged people ordered to evacuate to leave now if they have not already done so.
“If you’re in an evacuation zone and you’re directed to evacuate, especially if you’re in a low-lying area or a coastal area, in that Big Bend area, now’s the time to do it,” DeSantis said during a news conference. Press Conference. “If you wait any longer, by the time we get to tonight, the weather will start to get worse.”
Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida Department of Emergency Management, said he was “extremely concerned about Cedar Key,” with storm surges expected to reach 12 to 13 feet.
DeSantis said 28 Florida counties now have some kind of evacuation order — including Alachua County, home to Gainesville. He added that more than 50 shelters have been set up across the state.
Idalia is expected to strengthen to a Category 3 hurricane overnight, according to the National Hurricane Center, which warned in its latest warning that a “life-threatening” storm surge could reach 10 to 15 feet in some areas of Big Bend.
The eyewall impact is expected to hit sometime Wednesday morning, DeSantis said.
August 29, 6:09 p.m
The final track shows IDalia making landfall southeast of Tallahassee
The latest track shows Hurricane Adalia making landfall southeast of Tallahassee in the northern Big Bend region. This is a little further west than the previous route.
Hurricane Idalia is then expected to pass through southern Georgia and the Carolinas with a tropical storm and heavy rain from Wednesday through Thursday.
Isolated tornadoes will also be possible.
High winds are likely off the coast of Florida due to how fast the storm is moving – even Gainesville to Valdosta can see winds of 110 mph.
— Melissa Griffin from ABC News
August 29, 5:55 p.m
5,500 Florida National Guardsmen will be on standby to assist with the storm
A Pentagon spokesman said about 5,500 Florida National Guard personnel will help prepare for and respond to the storm across the state.
More than 3,000 Guardsmen are fully activated, while another 1,800 are on their way to duty, according to Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh.
Singh said the Ministry of Defense is also ready to provide assistance as needed.
“Prior to the stormy landing, the department was ready to assist the state of Florida, FEMA, state and local officials with any recovery efforts required,” Singh said during a news conference.
– Matt Seller from ABC News
August 29, 5:08 p.m
Idalia is now a Category 2 hurricane
Idalia strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center, which warned of a “life-threatening surge of storm surge and tornadoes” expected along parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast Tuesday night and Wednesday.
August 29, 3:05 p.m
South Carolina declares a state of emergency
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency as Idalia approached.
South Carolinians should prepare for heavy rain, flooding, high winds, and possible tornadoes.
August 29, 2:53 p.m
DeSantis: Expect “big effects” at home
The danger is not limited to Florida’s west coast.
Gov. Ron DeSantis told a news conference that residents of inland counties in north Florida should expect “significant impacts” from Idalia.
He warned that the time needed to implement contingency plans was “running out very quickly”.
— Hannah Demissie and Will McDuffie from ABC News
August 29, 2:32 p.m
FEMA: “This storm will be deadly if we don’t stay out of harm’s way”
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell stressed at a White House briefing Tuesday that Storm Idalia could be particularly dangerous.
“This storm is one of the more dangerous parts of the hurricane and is especially problematic along Florida’s west coast because of the underwater geography,” Creswell said. “The coastal shelf gets shallow very quickly, increasing the size of the storms, putting more people at risk. Very few people can survive being in the path of major storms, and this storm will be deadly if we can’t beat it out of harm’s way and take it easy.” Seriously.”
The storm surge in the Big Bend, Florida area is now forecast to reach 15 feet in height. Tampa is still expected to see a 4- to 7-foot storm surge, enough to flood highly vulnerable coastal areas.
“If you’re in a surge warning area, that could mean traveling 10 or 20 miles just to get out of the most impacted areas. That doesn’t mean you have to travel hundreds of miles,” she said.
Creswell also called on Congress to approve more funding for disaster responses. It said FEMA’s disaster relief fund is down at $3.4 billion, and it said it has instructed FEMA to focus on the Maui and Idalia fires and any other severe weather events through its fiscal year end at the end of September.
– Ben Gittleson from ABC News
August 29, 1:07 p.m
Georgia declares a state of emergency
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has issued a state of emergency in Georgia, as the Idalia region is expected to bring heavy rains, high winds, flooding and possible tornadoes.
“Georgians in the AIA can and should take the necessary steps to ensure their safety and the safety of their families,” Kemp said in a statement. “We are well placed to respond to anything Idalia may have to offer.”
August 29, 12:16 p.m
The Big Bend area should expect fallen trees and power lines
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference Tuesday that Hurricane Adalia will likely leave a lot of debris, downed trees and downed power lines as it passes through the forests of Big Bend, Florida.
“When you look at where this storm is going to hit, there are a lot of heavily wooded areas, so you’re going to see a lot of these trees down, you’re going to see power lines down, and that’s very important.” He said it would just take a concerted effort.
The governor said he expects there will be between 30,000 and 40,000 seamen in Florida by the time Idalia makes landfall to help restore power.
— Hannah Demissie and Will McDuffie from ABC News