Nearly 50% of Florida Under State of Emergency

State braces for hurricane as another wreaks havoc in Caribbean
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2023 12:00 AM CDT

Tropical Storm Idalia, brewing off the east coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, is expected to become a hurricane on Tuesday and threaten the US soon after. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40mph on Sunday when it was 95 miles from Cozumel, Mexico, and moving northeast at 3mph, per ABC News. It's expected to pick up speed and strength on Monday into Tuesday while moving northward into the eastern Gulf of Mexico, meteorologists say. It's predicted to make landfall Wednesday morning in northern Florida as a category 2 hurricane, with winds of at least 96mph. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for 33 counties along the Gulf Coast, or nearly half of the state, per ABC. Some areas could see 4 to 6 inches of rain, meaning a risk of flash floods. The storm will then move into Georgia and the Carolinas later in the week.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Franklin, the second hurricane of the 2023 Atlantic season after July's Don, is predicted to reach category 3 status Monday, per the New York Times. Churning in the Caribbean, Franklin became a hurricane Saturday and reached category 2 status Sunday with maximum sustained winds of 100mph. It's expected to reach sustained winds of 111mph or greater on Monday, qualifying as a major storm. It was 320 miles north-northeast of Grand Turk Island and 535 miles southwest of Bermuda as of 5pm Sunday and was moving north-northwest at 8mph, per WESH. Swells could affect Bermuda by Sunday evening before the storm turns north-northeastward. It's predicted to eventually become a category 4 hurricane with winds over 130mph, which could bring life-threatening surf and rip currents along the US East Coast, per WESH. (More hurricane stories.)

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