Hurricane Idalia devastates Cedar Key, Florida: 'Do not come'

Posted at 10:01 AM, Aug 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-30 10:10:50-04

CEDAR KEY, Fla. (WTXL) — Cedar Key Fire and Rescue is urging people to stay indoors and avoid coming to the island due to widespread flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Idalia.

“We have multiple trees down, debris in the roads, do not come,” posted the fire and rescue department in Cedar Key, where a tide gauge measured the storm surge at 6.8 feet (2 meters), submerging most of the downtown. “We have propane tanks blowing up all over the island.”

The hurricane came ashore about 80 miles north west of Cedar Key near Keaton Beach early Wednesday as a Category 3 storm.

It made landfall in the lightly populated Big Bend region, where the Florida Panhandle curves into the peninsula, and moved east of Tallahassee into Georgia.

Coastal storm surge, as high as 16 feet in places, remained a major concern.

More than 230,000 customers are without power as trees snap in the winds and water turns roads into rivers.

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.