Hurricane Adalia threatens Big Bend, Florida, the “nature coast” far from its tourist attractions


ORLANDO, FL (AP) — Big Bend, Florida is one of the last truly natural places in the state. It’s not Disney World, and it’s not South Beach. This is where people go to hunt crocodiles, fish for tarpon, and hunt for scallops in the shallows. Now he is in The bull’s eye of a major hurricane.

Big Bend is where the peninsula merges into the Panhandle, southeast of the capital city of Tallahassee, and north of the Tampa metro area. Hurricane Adalia will be the first major storm to strike there since Hurricane Izzy in 1950, according to the National Hurricane Center.

This is where people go to appreciate nature and be left alone.

interruptions Florida Nature Coast “I think a lot of people — our residents, and those who travel here from far away — believe that having a good time involves more than just expensive restaurants, theme parks, and crowded beaches,” says a website dedicated to the region.

“When you want to escape, we’ve got you covered. Forests to explore, blackwater rivers and spring-fed streams crystal clear for canoeing, secluded campsites, and trails for riding and hiking,” says the site. ) from uncontaminated lands.

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee described Idalia as an “unprecedented event” as no major tornadoes on record passed through the bay adjacent to the Big Bend area.

Idalia is expected to come ashore somewhere in this remote area on Wednesday, possibly as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 129 mph (112 kph) or higher. It is a low marshy area that you now encounter The expected storm Up to 15 ft (4.5 m). There are populated areas in the area, including Gainesville, where the University of Florida has canceled classes through Wednesday.

President Joe Biden said he has been in “constant communication” with the Republican governor. Ron DeSantis — who is running to replace him — and other federal and state officials about the potential impact of the storm.

“I think we’re worried about the rise, the ocean rising. We don’t know exactly. It’s an hour to an hour. We’re watching this,” Biden said from the Oval Office on Tuesday. They are there for whatever it takes and we make sure they have everything they need.”

Because of the unique shape of the Big Bend coast, Idalia “will bring some massive storms,” ​​University of Albany atmospheric scientist Christine Corposiero said. “Water can build up in this bay. Then a storm wind comes in, and it turns counterclockwise, and it goes in the same direction, and the same shape as the bay so that the water can be pushed there.

Some people did not plan to heed officials’ warnings to evacuate. Andy Beer, owner of the Island Hotel in Cedar Key, said he intends to “sit” the pre-Civil War bed and breakfast. The building hasn’t been flooded in the 20 years he’s owned it, not even when Hurricane Hermine flooded the city in 2016.

“Being in charge of the oldest building in Cedar Key, I feel like I need to be here,” Bear said. We have proven time and time again that we will not be defeated. We might feel a little uncomfortable for a few days, but we’ll be fine in the end.


Associated Press reporters Seth Bornstein in Washington and Daniel Kozinn in Cedar Key, Florida, contributed to this story.


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