Oak Hill, WV (WOAY-TV): The Florida Panhandle is preparing tonight for a catastrophic blow from one of the biggest hurricanes it’s ever seen.
Idalia is deepening rapidly in the record warm Atlantic and will become a major hurricane with winds of at least 111 mph.
The National Weather Service even beefed up its message to the public indicating no major hurricanes have ever tracked into Apalachee Bay dating back to 1851 and if preparations were not made today, it would be too late.
The reason…it will make landfall Wednesday morning before sweeping deeper into northern Florida. Storm surge of 10 to 15 feet will devastate the infrastructure on the Florida Big Bend.
Idalia will weaken to a tropical storm as it tracks through the Carolinas. If you have property in the eastern Carolinas or have friends in the path of the storm along the Carolina coast, 2 to 4 feet of storm surge and 2 to 3 inches of rain will trigger flash flooding.
As high pressure pushes into the East behind Wednesday’s cold front, Idalia will linger well off the Carolina coast for Labor Day weekend. It will generate rough surf for beachgoers straight through Labor Day weekend.
As for Florida, the cleanup will continue in the wake of Idalia straight through Labor Day weekend. There’s a good chance roads will still be impassable in the Florida Big Bend through early next week.
Idalia will not have any direct impact on our weather and the rain will stay south and east of the headwaters of the New River.