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Hundreds of Thousands Without Power as Hurricane Idalia Slams the States

Power outages are climbing as Hurricane Idalia makes its impact on Florida and Georgia, leaving hundreds of thousands without power, although significant restoration efforts are underway.

Hurricane Idalia made landfall near Keaton Beach in the Florida Big Bend around 7:35 a.m. Wednesday morning. It maintained its status as a “major” hurricane at the time of landfall with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph, but those have since decreased.

Hundreds of thousands are now without power, particularly in the Big Bend region of Florida. For greater perspective, 6,308 customers tracked in Florida were without power around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, nearly a full day prior to Idalia’s arrival. As of noon Wednesday, that figure stood around 275,409 in the Sunshine State alone. Thousands more have lost power in southern Georgia as “damaging” winds reach the Peach State. PowerOutage.us is currently reporting roughly 61,000 customers out of power in Georgia, for a rough total of 320,000 customers without power in Florida and Georgia as a result of the storm.

Although Idalia’s landfall was hours ago, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warns that “significant impacts from storm surge will continue along the Gulf coast of Florida within the Storm Surge Warning through this evening.” It adds that hurricane-force winds will make their way across southern Georgia as the eye of the storm travels across the state over to the east coast.

Prior to the storm’s arrival, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said the state had over 25,000 linemen stationed and ready to respond to the storm, with thousands more on the way.

WATCH — Tampa Bay Gets IMMERSED in Severe Flooding as Idalia Presses Forward into Florida:

Clearwater Police Department via Storyful

“We had as of this morning over 25,000 linemen stationed [and] more on the way so you will have most likely between 30,000 and 40,000 linemen. When the storm hits [they] will be in the state of Florida and then they will immediately move to commence power restoration efforts,” the governor said this week.

While the number of customers without power has increased substantially since DeSantis’s Wednesday morning update, he announced that, at the time of his press conference, linemen had already restored power to 100,000 households “through hard work all through the night.”

WATCH — Flood Overtakes Mobile Home Park in St. Petersburg as Hurricane Idalia Moves In:

St Petersburg Police Department via Storyful

Those efforts, he said in his morning update, are continuing in every area that it is safe to do so.

This story is developing.



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