DeSantis to Floridians: Prepare for ‘Powerful’ Hurricane Idalia
Ahead of Hurricane Idalia’s landfall in Florida over the coming days, Governor Ron DeSantis released a stern message to the state’s residents: Be prepared for a “powerful” hurricane.
Per the Orlando Sentinel, DeSantis, said, “All Floridians, you need to be executing your plans. This is going to be a major hurricane. This is going to be a powerful hurricane.”
Currently, Idalia’s winds are just under the strength of a category one hurricane. However, that is expected to rapidly change as the storm moves over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and onto the Florida Coast. Some forecasters are predicting that the storm could reach the winds of a category four hurricane by the time it makes landfall.
“People need to expect, even though they are well off outside of the cone, that we are going to have power outages, we are going to have trees down on power lines,” Kevin Guthrie, Florida Division of Emergency Management director, said. “You need to be prepared for that.”
It is estimated the storm will make landfall somewhere along Florida’s Gulf Coast, possibly near the “Big Bend” areas of the state. However, Guests all over the state need to prepare as the winds, rain bands, and even tornados spawned by the storm could extend well outside of the eye wall, and the storm could change course at any time.
With so much uncertainty still surrounding Idalia, DeSantis said, “One wobble way or another, you could see major impacts” extend anywhere from Tampa Bay to the Panhandle.
Fresh off the heels of the catastrophic Hurricane Ian last year, DeSantis wants all residents to be prepared for Idalia. During Ian, several residents who were in the line of the hurricane ended up staying, which turned out to be deadly.
“You can’t unring the bell if somebody wants to stay in their home and do battle with nature,” DeSantis said.
In preparation for Idalia’s arrival, DeSantis activated thousands of members of the National Guard to help with restoration efforts once the storm passes.
Currently, Walt Disney World is monitoring the storm but operating as business as usual. However, they did release this statement within the past few hours: