At 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Hurricane Idalia made landfall on the Gulf Coast of Florida as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 miles per hour. Even though it did not take the shape of a perfect circle, the storm covered an area that was nearly 350 miles across. To put that in perspective, the state of Colorado is 380 miles across. A wind field with hurricane-force gusts stretched 7,850 square miles around 30 minutes after Idalia made landfall near Keaton Beach in Florida’s Big Bend coastline area. This is comparable in size to the state of New Jersey, which has 7,354 square miles.
Counties Near Gulf Coast to Atlantic Coast Declared as State of Emergencies after Hurricane Idalia Landfall
The Big Bend is a remote and heavily wooded region that is located at the point where the peninsula and the panhandle of the state meet. Tallahassee, the capital of the state, is located around 65 miles to the north of where Idalia’s eye made landfall. At midday on Wednesday, the eye of the storm was located 25 miles north of Valdosta, Georgia. It was moving in a north-northeasterly direction at a speed of 20 mph, and it had sustained gusts of up to 85 mph.
A state of emergency has been announced in 49 counties in the northern half of the state of Florida by Governor Ron DeSantis after hurricane Idalia was declared as category 3. These counties stretch from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Coast.