Hurricane Idalia touched down on Florida’s west coast Wednesday morning, making landfall near Keaton Beach as a high-end Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 125 mph.
More than 242,000 customers were without electricity as trees snapped by strong winds brought down power lines and rushing water covered streets. Along the coast, some homes were submerged to near their rooftops and structures crumpled. As the eye moved inland, destructive winds shredded signs and sent sheet metal flying.
The National Weather Service in Tallahassee called Idalia “an unprecedented event” since no major hurricanes on record have ever passed through the bay abutting the Big Bend. The state, still dealing with lingering damage from last year’s Hurricane Ian, feared disastrous results.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.