Tropical Storm Idalia is expected to intensify as it heads toward Florida
Storm Saola intensifies into a powerful typhoon affecting the Philippines. Image source: IANS News
New York, August 28: Tropical Storm Idalia, which formed the previous day, is expected to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane when it reaches Florida’s Gulf Coast in the United States on Tuesday.
Winds are expected to peak at 100 mph (about 160 kph), Jimmy Romm, deputy director of the National Hurricane Center, said in an update Sunday evening.
He noted that “evacuations may be necessary for this storm later today or tomorrow,” and “the risks will certainly extend beyond the cone.”
The New York Times on Sunday quoted meteorologists as saying that Idalia, the latest named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, is also threatening to bring heavy rains to Georgia and the Carolinas.
The newspaper added that the Florida Department of Emergency Management asked residents to keep fuel tanks at least half full in the event of emergency evacuation orders.
State news agency Xinhua reported that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order on Saturday declaring a state of emergency in 33 counties in preparation for the storm.
Meanwhile, according to Politico, DeSantis canceled campaign events this week as a major storm approaches his home state and in the aftermath of the scare.
“We’re stuck with this, we’re going to get the job done,” DeSantis said at a press conference on Sunday, later adding, when asked if he would cancel campaign events: “I’m here, I’m here.”
The governor is running for US president and was scheduled to campaign in South Carolina on Monday.
Idalia is expected to make landfall along a sparsely populated area, and DeSantis said the outage will be a particular concern because it’s hitting an area of the state that has a lot of tall trees with heavy limbs.
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