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Tropical Storm Idalia brings storm surge threat to South Carolina

Tropical Storm Idalia worked its way northeast over South Carolina on Wednesday night. Storm surge warnings were in effect in coastal South Carolina.
Tropical Storm Idalia brings storm surge threat to South Carolina
Posted at 4:47 AM, Aug 30, 2023

Idalia had weakened to a tropical storm by Wednesday evening, after moving inland from Florida's Gulf Coast. Top sustained wind speeds were 60 mph.

The storm was roughly 15 miles north-northwest of Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday night.

The storm made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane with wind speeds of 125 mph. It moved ashore around Keaton Beach, Florida, at 7:45 a.m. ET.

At its peak, Hurricane Idalia had top sustained winds of 130 mph. 

One death has been reported and numerous water rescues have occurred.

Closer to where the hurricane made landfall, Perry, Florida, reported a wind gust of 85 mph around the time of landfall. A tide gauge at Cedar Key, Florida, reported a water rise of 6.8 feet. 

On Wednesday evening, the National Hurricane Center announced a Storm Surge Warning for Savannah River northward to the South Santee River in South Carolina.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for Savannah River northward to the North Carolina/Virginia border, and for Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

A Storm Surge Watch was is in effect for Beaufort Inlet to Ocracoke Inlet in North Carolina, and for Neuse and Pamlico Rivers in North Carolina.

"The combination of storm surge and tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline," the National Hurricane Center warned. 

A storm surge of 2-4 feet above usual levels was possible for coastal regions of North and South Carolina.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said recovery was underway. He said some 250,000 people remained without power as of 6 pm eastern time.

"Search and rescue operations have been ongoing from the moment that the storm passed," DeSantis said. "In the hardest hit areas, and they've probably gone through about 70% of the areas that they need to to be able to check for people that are in distress."

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office said it has helped evacuate over 60 citizens from flooded homes within the Hudson area. 

President Joe Biden addressed the nation Thursday, noting the devastating effects of the hurricane. He noted that the federal government will assist the states in the recovery process. 

"If there's anything the states need right now, I'm ready to mobilize that support," Biden said. 


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