Idalia threatens Carolinas with treacherous rain and flooding after pounding Florida and damaging thousands of homes newsbhunt


Editor’s Note: Affected by the storm? Use CNN’s lite site for low bandwidth.


Tropical Storm Idalia continues to pound the Southeast’s Atlantic coast Thursday morning, bringing flash flood warnings in North Carolina as communities across Florida’s west coast survey extensive damage from the most powerful hurricane to touch down in its Big Bend region in more than 100 years.

After making landfall in Florida as a Category 3 hurricane on Wednesday, the storm carved its way through southern Georgia and South Carolina, leaving hundreds of thousands without power and putting more coastal communities at risk.

“The combination of storm surge and tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline,” the National Hurricane Center said Thursday morning.

Between 2 and 5 inches of rain fell across portions of southeastern North Carolina, including the Wilmington area, where a flash flood warning was in effect early Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Parts of Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties were under the warning. Additionally, isolated tornadoes are possible.

Earlier, the storm wreaked havoc as it smashed into Florida’s Big Bend area – the region between the panhandle and peninsula – near Keaton Beach on Wednesday morning, ripping roofs off buildings and flooding homes as it pushed feet of seawater onshore along a wide swath of the state’s west coast.


Many of the areas that bore the brunt of the storm aren’t equipped to handle such a powerful hurricane, US Rep. Jared Moskowitz said Wednesday night.

“In those areas, a lot of them are fiscally constrained. They don’t necessarily have the resources,” Moskowitz, who represents a South Florida district and used to lead the state’s Division of Emergency Management, told CNN.

“There are some communities that may never look the same and others that will get rebuilt that will look slightly different,” Moskowitz said. “This is a life-changing event for some of these counties.”

Officials urged thousands to evacuate before storm surge caused several record-high water levels from Tampa Bay through the Big Bend. The storm also downed power lines and caused flooding in parts of Georgia and South Carolina, including Charleston, and North Carolina, where flash flooding was reported early Thursday in Wilmington.

In Charleston, the storm tore down trees and led officials to close flooded roads, police said. Water also breached dunes at South Carolina’s Edisto Beach, the National Weather Service said.


There was “one unconfirmed fatality” in Florida in the storm’s aftermath, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday.

Two men were killed in two separate crashes Wednesday morning during severe storm conditions from Idalia, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins said earlier. Gaskins noted both deaths were weather-related. It’s unclear whether DeSantis was referring to one of these crashes. CNN has reached out to the agencies for clarification.

Another death was reported in Georgia’s Lowndes County, where a man died after a tree fell on him as he cut a tree on a highway, sheriff Ashley Paulk told CNN.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect for South Santee River northward to the North Carolina-Virginia border, including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, as of 5 a.m. ET Thursday. A storm surge watch is in effect for Beaufort Inlet to Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina, as well as the Neuse and Pamlico rivers.

A backyard of a house is seen flooded in Steinhatchee, Florida, on Wednesday after Hurricane Idalia made landfall as a Category 3 storm.

Here are other developments from the storm as of early Thursday:

Over the Carolinas: Tropical Storm Idalia’s center was about 45 miles south-southwest of Wilmington with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph as of 5 a.m. ET Thursday. The storm is forecast to move just offshore of North Carolina’s coast later Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Flood rescues: First responders rescued about 150 residents from flooded neighborhoods in Florida’s hard-hit Pasco County, north of Tampa, the county fire rescue chief said. Some areas saw water surges between 3 and 5 feet.

Thousands of homes damaged: Between 4,000 and 6,000 homes were inundated with water in Florida’s Pasco County alone, according to county administrator Mike Carballa.

Historic water levels: South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor saw water its waters spike to higher than 9 feet, making it the fifth highest level ever recorded, according to the National Weather Service said. Cedar Key, East Bay Tampa, Clearwater Beach and St. Petersburg in Florida also experienced record storm surges.

Thousands in the dark: As of early Thursday, about 143,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida. Another 126,000 outages were in Georgia, about 34,000 were reported in South Carolina, and about 18,000 were in North Carolina, according to tracking site

Residents urged to stay indoors: Florida officials are urging residents to avoid being outdoors as cleanup and search efforts remain underway. Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett cited the dangers of downed trees and power lines.

Boil water advisory: Some areas in DeSoto, Dixie, Leon, Levy, Marion and Taylor counties in Florida are under boil water notices issued by the state’s health department.

Some school districts to reopen: At least 30 of 52 school districts that closed ahead of the storm will be open again Thursday, DeSantis said. Eight districts are set to reopen Friday.

Idalia is expected to maintain its tropical storm status as it moves off the East Coast Thursday morning. Heavy rainfall amounts over South and North Carolina “will continue to lead to areas of flash, urban, and moderate river flooding, with considerable impacts,” the hurricane center explained.

Meanwhile, central Florida could see an additional 1 to 2 inches of rain Thursday.

On Wednesday, storm surge whipped up by Idalia set records for highest water level in several locations in Florida.

In Cedar Key, an island town about 80 miles north of Tampa, storm surge reached 8.9 feet, surpassing the 5.99 feet record set in 2016 from Hurricane Hermine.

Storm surge in Tampa’s East Bay was 5.7 feet Wednesday, roughly 2 feet higher than record seen in 2020 from Tropical Storm Eta.

And in Clearwater Beach, storm surge from Idalia reached 5.2 feet, eclipsing the 4.02 feet from the 1993 “Storm of the Century” that also snowed in much of the East Coast.


#Idalia #threatens #Carolinas #treacherous #rain #flooding #pounding #Florida #damaging #thousands #homes

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours

Martin Scorsese, David Fincher Get Galas at London Film Festival newsbhunt

Sneha Khanwalkar Redefines Emotion with ASMR Musical Landscapesnewsbhunt