The Big Bend section of Florida’s gulf coast could be inundated by five metres of water driven ashore by Hurricane Idalia, now a category 4 storm capable of “catastrophic” damage. Meteorologists say the combination of the Gulf of Mexico’s seasonally warm water under a layer of fresh water from the Mississippi delta makes for an unusually powerful hurricane engine. And then there’s the map: Idalia is forecast to make landfall heading northeast towards Georgia and to sustain 100 mph + winds as it crosses the state line. Hurricanes usually lose strength over land but this one could stay dangerous as it moves up the coast of the Carolinas, drawing new strength from the Atlantic. Coastal towns near Tampa are already underwater. Schools as far south as Naples have been closed. Governor Ron de Santis has told Floridians under evacuation warnings “this is crunch time… you really got to go now”. Yesterday we mentioned how hard it is for Americans in waterfront communities to find home insurance. This won’t help.
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