Hurricane Idalia developed into a Category 3 storm overnight and made landfall in Florida’s Big Bend Region on Wednesday at 7:45 a.m.
As of 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Idalia had recorded winds up to 130 miles per hour and flooding had already begun.
The “Big Bend” region refers to where the peninsula merges into the Panhandle, just southeast of the capital, Tallahassee, and well north of the Tampa metro area. Idalia is the first major storm to hit the region since Hurricane Easy in 1950.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) provided an update at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, warning the state has had 11 tornado warnings and more are possible. DeSantis said there are expected storm swells up to 16 feet and 54,000 households were without power.
As soon as the initial storm passes over the coastal areas, DeSantis said search and rescue efforts would begin. In addition to taking cover in a safe place, the Florida governor reminded residents not to go outside during the storm and not to drive on flooded streets.
To prepare for the aftermath, the state has set aside 3,000 generators and more than 1 million gallons of fuel to help bridge the gap between Idalia knocking out power and utilities being restored. DeSantis also reminded everyone not to run generators inside their homes or in their garage.
Power surged shortly during DeSantis’s Wednesday press conference as he was speaking about preparing for dealing with widespread power outages.