‘Apocalyptic scenes’ as deadly Category 4 Hurricane Idalia makes landfall

Hurricane Hilary: Mudslides in California after flooding

Hurricane Idalia has made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 cyclone, bringing with it vicious winds and flooding.

Video from the city of Cedar Key captures intense wind and rainfall at a road in scenes described as “near-apocalyptic” by a local fisherman.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been enforced issued in at least 28 of state’s 67 counties.

“If you have not evacuated, you need to do that right now,” Florida emergency management chief Kevin Guthrie warned.

“You need to drop what you’re doing. You need to go to your room, pack up, pack your things and get to safety.”

Michael Bobbitt, a local clam fisherman, is among those who opted to stay, wishing to help the region’s elder residents handle the devastating weather that is currently battering their homes.

USA Today reporter Christopher Cann tweeted that Mr Bobbitt said of freak weather striking at 6am: “It’s a near-apocalyptic scene here.”

In an earlier interview, Mr Bobbitt told CNN: “I stayed behind so that I could help some of the older and infirm people that just refused to leave.

“Happy to report I was able to get two of my elderly neighbors to finally leave. They made it out just before, I believe, it’s probably too unsafe to be on the road at all now.”



  • Over 230,000 customers without power in Florida14:13
  • ‘It’s a near apocalyptic scene here’13:34
  • Idalia makes landfall13:07
  • Hurricane Idalia upgraded to Category 4 cyclone12:30
  • 60,000 without electricity in Florida11:49
  • Idalia leaves over half of Pinar del Rio without electricity

    Maria Ortega, a foreign content specialist, exclusively told Daily Express US that more than 60 percent of residents in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, are without electricity this morning as a result of the heavy rains and winds caused by Hurricane Idalia.

    In Pinar del Rio, Idalia has overflowed the banks of the Cuyaguateje River – the main hydrographic basin of the province.

    Other provinces suffered the effects of the hurricane, which left some 47,980 people in Havana, 117,434 in Artemisa, and 4,326 in the Isle of Youth without electricity, Ortega said.

    A tobacco farmer in the area said: “Many homes are still without roofs, drying houses have not been able to fully recover either, there are still many places that have not functioned anymore or are at half capacity since last year.

    “People here feel abandoned and the resources that have arrived are small.”

    Ortega said more than 8,000 people have been relocated, particularly in the areas of Bailen and Boca de Galafre.

    Although the hurricane has moved away from Cuba for the most part, the rains are not expected to stop, especially in Pinar del Rio.

    4,500 people take refuge in Red Cross shelters

    Nearly 4,500 people have taken refuge in Red Cross shelters due to Hurricane Idalia, according to online data from the aid group.

    A Largo, Florida, shelter has the largest population in a single shelter at 442.

    The Red Cross is operating over 100 shelters in the storm’s path.

    Over 230,000 customers without power in Florida

    Over 230,000 customers are without power in Florida due to Hurricane Idalia, according to PowerOutage.us.

    There are currently 232,064 customers without power, according to the site.

    Here’s when and where Hurricane Idalia will hit

    Hurricane Idalia has already made landfall near Keaton Beach, and it will continue to move over Florida’s Big Bend region.

    Cities that will see impacts:

    – Steinhatchee: peak storm conditions now through noon

    – St. Marks/Apalachee Bay: peak storm conditions 7am to noon

    – St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay: peak storm conditions now into mid-morning

    – Savannah, Georgia: peak storm conditions 7pm to 10pm

    Areas with highest water levels:

    – Cedar Key: 6.8 feet above highest tides

    – East Tampa Bay: 4.5 feet above highest tides

    – Clearwater Beach: 4.1 feet above highest tides

    Tampa mayor says flooding will worsen

    Tampa Mayor Jane Castor warned residents that the flooding now “is nothing compared to what we are going to see in a few hours.”

    Castor told CNN: “We have flooding, extensive flooding along our coast right now.

    “We have 126 miles of waterfront land here in Tampa, and that is only going to rise. We are at low tide. The tide is coming in.

    “We expect that king high tide around noon to 1pm and that’s going to bring in several additional feet of water.”

    Biden will address Idalia later today

    President Joe Biden will address Hurricane Idalia Wednesday afternoon as the Category 3 storm churns towards Florida.

    A White House official said Biden “will deliver remarks on the whole-of-government response and recovery efforts on Maui, Hawaii and the ongoing response from the federal government to Hurricane Idalia.”

    Cedar Key tide gauge breaks water level record

    Areas of Florida’s Gulf Coast are experiencing deadly storm surge.

    Cedar Key is experiencing between eight and nine feet of storm surge, with waters still rising rapidly.

    The surge will continue to climb over the next few hours in the Big Bend region.

    Storm surge blows out doors of condo in Cedar Key

    Deadly storm surge from Hurricane Idalia has blown out the doors of a condo complex in Cedar Key, Florida.

    ‘It’s a near apocalyptic scene here’

    USA Today reporter Christopher Cann spoke to clam fisherman Michael Bobbitt.

    More than 116,000 Floridians without power

    About 116,000 Florida residents are in the dark as Hurricane Idalia churns towards the Gulf Coast.

    The bulk of the outages are in the Big Bend region, with Taylor County having the highest percentage at 75 percent.

    Idalia makes landfall

    Hurricane Idalia has made landfall near Keaton Beach in Florida.

    Idalia continues as a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and even higher gusts.

    This makes Idalia the strongest storm to make landfall in the region in more than 125 years, according to CNN.

    Good morning

    Good morning, I’m Isabelle Durso reporting from New York. I’ll be taking over our live coverage of Hurricane Idalia.

    Have a tip or comment? Get in touch [email protected]

    Hurricane Idalia upgraded to Category 4 cyclone

    Hurricane Idalia is set to strike Florida today as a deadly Category 4 cyclone – after the forecast was updated by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) overnight.

    It is predicted Idalia could hit Orange County between 6am and 9am, unleashing “catastrophic storm surges” after intensity upped from an already extremely dangerous Category 3 storm.

    “Very few people can survive being in the path of major storm surge, and this storm will be deadly if we don’t get out of harm’s way and take it seriously,” Deanne Criswell, administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), warned.

    On Wednesday at 1am, Idalia’s force was gathering momentum, battering the small community of Cedar Key – home to 700 residents, the majority of which followed the mandatory evacuation orders.

    As well as Florida, officials in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia have declared a state of emergency.

    In order to help those likely affected, the likes of New York and California vowed to send specialized equipment to places such as Orlando and Atlanta, with the Big Apple’s Task Force 1 – a group of cops and firefighters – arriving in Columbia, South Carolina, to help out.

    60,000 without electricity in Florida

    Thousands have been left without power now in Florida as a result of the storm.

    That’s according to The Spectator Index who made the warning on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

    Volunteers begin work to support older residents

    Among them is Michael Bobbitt – who CNN is reporting lives in Cedar Key, and as opposed to leaving the area opted to stay to help those who defied the evacuation warnings.

    Speaking to CNNs Phil Mattingly, the resident said: “I stayed behind so that I could help some of the older and infirm people that just refused to leave.

    “Happy to report I was able to get two of my elderly neighbors to finally leave.

    “They made it out just before, I believe, it’s probably too unsafe to be on the road at all now.”

    The water builds in Tampa…

    More footage here shows the water building up in Tampa, Florida. Not looking good…

    School closures begin amid tornado warnings

    Among them are the Collier County Public Schools in southern Florida, which serves communities within Naples.

    It has announced that its schools would be closed due to the “uncertainty of potential weather” and its impact on transportation.

    In a Facebook post, it wrote: “As tornado warnings were issued, students and staff remained safe inside the schools, which are built to be used as shelters, and we resumed our typical inclement weather dismissal procedures when the weather warnings were lifted.”

    Earlier this week the district had said that it intended to keep schools open on Tuesday and Wednesday as it did not expect “flooding rain or sustained winds… that would impede normal operations” – a decision that has now been backtracked on.

    ‘I was deployed to Iraq twice but nothing terrifies me more than a hurricane’

    A single dad has shared the horrors from Florida’s last major storm.

    Nathan Williamson, 38, ditched evacuation plans minutes and sheltered in his Fort Myers home with eight-year-old daughter Amelia and dog Lily when Hurricane Ian blasted the Florida coastline in September 2022.

    “Things started getting a little scary for us the day before…but quite frankly I don’t think anyone was prepared for how bad the storm surge and the winds were going to be.

    “It completely shocked everybody.”

    Our reporter Jacob Paul has more here.

    ‘Storm surge already invading the roads of Cedar Key, Florida’

    This is the view from the scene of Cedar Key, Florida, in incredible footage captured by Reed Timmer, PhD on X.

    He posted on the platform formerly known as Twitter a video that showed how devastating the winds and rain had already become.

    Pictures show devastation

    Images are being shared of the carnage on normal streets across America that are now being submerged in water.

    All thanks to Idalia on Wednesday morning.


    One of world’s busiest cruise ports halts operations

    That’s according to CNN, which says Port Canaveral has closed to all vessel traffic, as well as suspending ship-to-shore cargo operations as a result of the gale force winds in the area.

    According to the Coast Guard Sector in Jacksonville, winds that reach 39mph are called gale force winds – similar to what is expected to batter Florida today.

    Despite the port not being located on Idalia’s expected path, the US Coast Guard Captain of the Port said strong winds would likely be experienced this morning.

    The facilities will remain open, it added, with no evacuation plans in place.

    US’ deadliest storm which claimed up to 12,000 lives

    While fears of the destruction Hurricane Idalia could cause in Florida today grow, the Daily Express US looked back through the archives to the biggest storm in American history.

    The storm in question was the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, which killed up to 12,000 people after making landfall on September 8, 1900 in Galveston, Texas.

    Alongside taking thousands of lives in a matter of hours, the wind and the waves easily demolished homes and businesses alike in the low-lying city — with some 7,000 properties destroyed and none escaping some form of damage.

    Ian Randall, the Daily Express US’s Senior Science Reporter, takes you through more here.

    Walt Disney vows to stay open despite impending storm

    The world’s most famous theme park resort has vowed to stay open despite the horror weather warnings being issued.

    Walt Disney World Resort has said it will remain operational, according to its website.

    It wrote: “Walt Disney World Resort is currently operating under normal conditions.

    “We are closely monitoring the path of the projected weather as we continue to prioritize the safety of our Guests and Cast Members.”

    Find out more here.

    Good morning

    Good morning, and welcome to today’s live blog following Hurricane Idalia, and the impact it is having across the US. If you have any photographs or information you’d like to share with us, email [email protected]

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