Hurricane Idalia makes landfall, downgraded to category 2

Hurricane Idalia made landfall as a very powerful category 4 storm but has since been...
Hurricane Idalia made landfall as a very powerful category 4 storm but has since been downgraded to category 2 status.(WWSB)
Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 8:03 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2023 at 9:10 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Idalia has been downgraded to a category 2 storm as of 9 a.m.

Idalia reached Category 4 status by 5 a.m. but just before 7 a.m., the storm was downgraded to a very powerful Category 3 before it made landfall with windspeed at 125mph. Just before 8 a.m. Idalia made landfall near Keaton Beach in the Big Bend Area of Florida. Water levels along the coast of the Florida Big Bend are rising rapidly.

The National Hurricane Center says that there were 61 mph wind gusts at the point of landfall.

Gov. Ron DeSantis urged residents in North Central Florida to hunker down and take the storm seriously.

High tides in Sarasota Bay will occur near Noon on Wednesday. With strong winds blowing onshore, storm surges of 3 to 6 feet will be common. Storm Surge Warnings and Hurricane Warnings remain in effect.

A Tornado Watch is in effect this morning with the potential for brief, spin-up tornadoes. A Flood Watch is in effect for most of the Suncoast with the potential for flooding with 3 to 6 inch rainfalls.

As the storm moves toward the Big Bend, we will still experience gusty winds and bands of thunderstorms from time to time. This activity will continue for much of the day Wednesday. Storm surge levels after our Noon high tides.