Hurricane Idalia Recovery: Power Restored Amid Florida’s Heat Wave
Florida’s west coast is facing extreme heat and power outage following the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia, a Category 3 storm which also caused severe flooding and damage to homes. As of Friday, over 90,000 homes and businesses had reported power outages, with work underway to restore power, which officials are prioritising. Apart from the pressing need for power restoration, some areas also don’t have clean running water, with the Big Bend region expected to experience temperatures as high as 95 degrees.
Florida’s west coast is grappling with oppressive heat and no electricity as crews work to restore power to thousands following Hurricane Idalia’s rampage.
Hurricane Idalia, a powerful Category 3 storm, inflicted record storm surge and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands upon making landfall Wednesday morning.
By Friday morning, over 90,000 residences and businesses reported power outages across several counties. The priority is to restore power after the hurricane’s considerable damage to homes and roads due to severe flooding, debris, and downed trees and power lines.
Restoring power is urgent as temperatures across the Big Bend region could feel as high as 95 degrees Friday. Parts could see up to 3 inches of rain Friday into Saturday, potentially hampering recovery efforts as these areas are already waterlogged from Idalia.
Shonteria Hills described the situation as tough, with no air conditioning or food. Officials are yet to provide information on when power would be restored.
The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Deanne Criswell, has echoed the urgency for power restoration. The US Army Corps of Engineers is on standby to assist.
Idalia’s destruction in Florida led to flooding of thousands of homes, roof destruction, and waist-deep water on many roads. As a tropical storm, it also caused intense flooding and strong winds in southern Georgia and the Carolinas.
Gov. DeSantis and Criswell toured hard-hit communities like Cedar Key, Horseshoe Beach, and Steinhatchee, noting significant flood damage.
Anthony Altman, owner of ecotourism company EXPLORIDA, expressed relief as his property was minimally damaged due to preparation ahead of the storm.
Deaths have been reported elsewhere. Two men were killed in separate, weather-related crashes Wednesday morning as Idalia barreled across Florida.
In Cedar Key, several waterfront houses were destroyed, while inland homes appeared untouched. According to Heather Greenwood, who manages Cedar Key Bed & Breakfast, there was minimal damage to her property.
Kevin Guthrie, head of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, credits the accurate forecast and people’s evacuation response to the lessened human impact. DeSantis echoed this sentiment and commended the accuracy of Idalia’s forecast.
The National Hurricane Center’s first Idalia forecast was issued last Saturday and projected a US landfall within 10 miles of where it actually struck five days later, near Keaton Beach, Florida. At least 28 Florida counties had issued evacuation orders by then.
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