The top Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official warned Floridians during a Tuesday press conference to treat the approaching Hurricane Idalia “seriously.”
“I know that the people of Florida are no stranger to storms, and I encourage all Floridians to take this storm seriously,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Idalia is expected to become a Category 3 hurricane before it hits the Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday morning. Classified as a major hurricane, a Category 3 storm is capable of causing “devastating damage,” with sustained winds of more than 111 mph.
Some storm surges could reach up to 15 feet, according to the Hurricane Center, and evacuation notices have been issued for 21 Florida counties, with eight of them mandatory.
Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 46 of the state’s 67 counties in advance of the storm and reportedly spoke with President Joe Biden, who approved an emergency declaration for the Sunshine State that will enable it to access federal resources.
“President Biden said Florida will have his full support as they prepare for Idalia and its aftermath,” the White House said in a statement obtained by The Hill. “President Biden also expressed his commitment to ongoing support for the people of Jacksonville following the horrific shooting on Saturday.”
States of emergency have also been declared in North Carolina and Georgia ahead of the storm.
Nicole Wells ✉
Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.
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