Powerful Hurricane Idalia has made landfall as a category 3 storm, with winds of about 125 miles per hour. CNN reports it’s inflicting deadly storm surge and winds not seen in the Panhandle region in 125 years.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has been warning of a “life-threatening, dangerous situation” with Idalia, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has been warning residents that this will be a major hurricane. The governor also says more than 30,000 utility workers are ready to repair outages once the storm passes.
Columbia-based Missouri Task Force One (MO-TF1) is on the ground in the Florida Panhandle, after being deployed to Pensacola, a town of about 54,000. MO-TF1 is one of 28 urban search and rescue teams in the United States. Task Force One’s 45 members left Columbia on Monday evening. Boone County Fire Protection District assistant chief Gale Blomenkamp says they could be deployed for up to two weeks.