‘Catastrophic’ Cat 3 Idalia

Florida's 'Big Bend' Never Seen One This Bad

  • Hurricane Idalia strengthened to a dangerous Category 3 storm Wednesday morning as it steams toward Florida’s Big Bend region and threatens to unleash life-threatening storm surges and rainfall.
  • Idalia was projected to come ashore early Wednesday as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of at least 130 mph (209 kph) in the lightly populated Big Bend region, where the Florida Panhandle curves into the peninsula. The result could be a big blow to a state still dealing with lingering damage from last year’s Hurricane Ian.
  • The National Weather Service in Tallahassee called Idalia “an unprecedented event” since no major hurricanes on record have ever passed through the bay abutting the Big Bend.
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