Category 3 Major Hurricane Idalia makes landfall along Big Bend Coast of Florida; photos and updates from Tampa Bay

Share
Hurricane Idalia landfall via fpren

Hurricane Idalia officially made landfall as a Category 3 Major Hurricane with sustained winds of 125 MPH near Keaton Beach at 7:45 EDT. The strong winds have caused scattered to widespread flooding and power outages. Other damage has been reported along the Big Bend Coast.

The significant storm surge threat will continue for through early afternoon along coastal areas, especially the Big Bend Coast. The highest report so far has been inundations nearly 7 feet around Cedar Key.

Heavy rain, flash flooding, and isolated tornado threats will continue through mid-late afternoon across north Florida. Scattered to widespread power outages and other wind damage is expected until Idalia’s center of circulation tracks well into Georgia later this afternoon. Many roads have also been closed across parts of north and central Florida due to flooding rains and lots of debris.

Hurricane Idalia
Street flooding in Gulfport, Florida from Hurricane Idalia storm surge. By Seán Kinane/WMNF News (30 Aug. 2023)

Satellite data indicated Idalia had weakened slightly before landfall due to an effect called the eyewall replacement cycle. Basically what happens is that a new eye begins to develop around the old eye. The new eye gradually decreases in diameter and replaces the old eyewall, effectively decreasing it’s intensity.

Idalia will continue tracking in to parts of Georgia and South Carolina with significant impacts through tonight.

Local power outage maps

TECO – TECO says “the storm knocked out power to about 35,000 customers total, with most restored by daybreak. The remnants of the storm continue to impact our area, and our line crews continue to restore power as needed.”

Duke Energy – Duke Energy says its crews have begun power restoration

  • More than 64,000 customers without power as of 11:30 a.m., with more outages, damage expected as the storm exits Florida
  • Crews respond to power outages in areas where weather conditions allow; nearly 70,000 restored so far

Here’s info from local governments

Pinellas County

Barrier island access remains closed as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday

Bridge access to the barrier islands is expected to remain closed until at
least this evening due to ongoing flooding caused by a combination of storm
surge and high tides.

With high tides continuing to cause flooding, many coastal and low-lying areas
will remain inundated for a few more hours. Until floodwaters subside, crews
will not be able to assess road conditions or clear the sand, debris and other
hazards left behind from the storm.

Search and rescue operations to help people evacuate from flooded areas have
been ongoing in Zone A, which remains under an evacuation order.

Residents outside of Zone A should limit travel as dozens of roads and bridges
remain closed across Pinellas County. A map of recent road closures is
available at the Pinellas County Road Closure Map.

More information and updates will continue to be posted at
disaster.pinellas.gov.

Storm surge flooding will continue throughout today; many coastal and
low-lying areas have not seen the worst of the flooding.

Access to the barrier islands remained closed, including Gulf Boulevard.

People should stay home and off the roads unless they need to travel for life
safety reasons.

Never drive or wade through floodwaters.

For more info, visit disaster.pinellas.gov.

City of St. Petersburg

City of St. Petersburg teams are
performing initial assessments on impacts from Hurricane Idalia.

Mayor Kenneth T. Welch delivered a media brief on Wednesday, August 30, at 10
a.m. If you missed the briefing, you can watch it here:
https://fb.watch/mL4X2ry7EG/

City staff are currently managing the impacts from Idalia on St.
Petersburg especially all those low lying areas and roads that are more prone
to flooding and high water.

Morning Update, 11 a.m.:
– Idalia was predominantly a water event – low lying areas are reporting
significant flooding.
– We have seen 4 to 5 feet of storm surge around St. Pete.
– The Howard Frankland and Skyway Bridges are closed. Gandy Bridge is open.
The beaches are closed.
– The Snell Isle Bridge and 40th Ave. Bridge are both closed.
– Some downed trees and several downed power lines have been reported through
the Citizen Information Center.

What residents need to do now:
– Please stay off the roads and avoid contact with flood waters if possible.
– Please be respectful of no-wake zones. It can cause significant damage to
residential homes.
– If there is water in your home, stay out of any room where water has
submerged electrical outlets or cords.
– Please do not visit the St. Pete Pier or the St. Pete Municipal Marina until
further assessment has been made

What’s next:
– The highest impact for storm surge is anticipated this afternoon around 2
p.m.
– Crews will make a more detailed assessment to look for damage, downed trees,
and scattered debris.
– For now, please place any vegetative debris in your trash bin until a
further assessment can made.
– City Brush Sites will open at Noon today for those that can safely travel,
except for the 1000 62nd Ave. NE location – stpete.org/brushsites.
Stay alert and please wait to leave your home until the evacuation order has
been lifted.

Sign up for Alert St. Pete for real-time updates (stpete.org/alertstpete)  and
follow the City of St. Petersburg social media channels – @StPeteFL.

Please report all storm-related issues (e.g., downed trees and flooding) to
our Citizen Information Center – 727-893-7111 or stpete.org/service.

Video from Wednesday morning of street flooding in Gulfport, Florida. Clarification: the roads flooded are within about a 1/8 square mile area.

Hillsborough County road closures

Hillsborough County has created a Hurricane Idalia Road Closure page. Road
closures are reported by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office via
Hillsborough County Emergency Management. The page is updated as closures are
received.

https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/stay-safe/storm/hurricane-idalia-road-closures

Hillsborough County: Flooding Along Alafia River After Hurricane Idalia Expected to Continue

Hurricane Idalia Update No. 10

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2023) – A significant storm surge from
Hurricane Idalia has pushed the Alafia River to major flood stage and forced
road closures throughout Hillsborough County.

The Alafia River reached major flood stage of 6.56 feet at about 8 a.m., a
level that is expected to rise later today because of the combination of
Idalia-fueled storm surge, heavy rains, and a tide that will peak in early
afternoon.

Alafia River flooding will impact roads and neighborhoods from the river mouth
at Tampa Bay through Bell Shoals Road to the east, with the area along the
Alafia River between Gibsonton and U.S. Hwy. 301 facing the greatest threat.
Those floodwaters already have forced the closure of Riverview Drive.

Other road closures throughout Hillsborough County include the following:

Riverview Drive

U.S. 41 between Big Bend Road and Ohio Street

50th Street and Madison Avenue

Sheldon Road and Moore Road

Gulf City Road

19th Avenue closed at 14th Street N.W. in Ruskin

Causeway Boulevard and 47th Street

Get Connected. Stay Alert.
For more information on Hillsborough County’s response to Hurricane Idalia,
visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and sign up for the HCFL Alert system.
Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on social media at Facebook;
X, formerly known as Twitter; and Nextdoor for updates.

Residents without digital access are encouraged to call 833-HC STORM or
833-427-8676, the County’s storm information line, for information on
Hurricane Idalia or visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe.

Pasco County

*Pasco County EOC A.M. UPDATE
*East side shelters closing; Rescues/clean-up underway

Rescue, recovery and clean-up operations are underway in Pasco County as
Hurricane Idalia slowly moves out of our area. Here are the latest updates
from Pasco County Government:

Emergency crews are responding to 911 calls and performing water rescues.

All East Pasco shelters are closed. The following West Pasco shelters remain
open.

  • Fasano Regional Hurricane Center, 11611 Denton Avenue, Hudson
  • Fivay High School, 12115 Chicago Avenue, Hudson
  • River Ridge Middle and High Schools, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey Pasco County Government Offices are closed today and will reopen Thursday,
    Aug. 31.
  • Animal Services will reopen Friday, September 1. GoPasco County Public Transportation services will resume Thursday, Aug. 31,
    as road conditions allow. Rides will be free all day Thursday, and regular
    fares will resume Friday. Public Works crews are clearing debris from roadways. Drivers – please treat intersections without working traffic lights as a
    four-way stop. Damage assessment teams are performing countywide inspections. Most private haulers will resume trash collection on passable streets
    Thursday, Aug. 30. Place bins out on regular collection day. Two sandbag disposal sites are open to properly dispose of used sandbags:
  • Magnolia Valley Golf Course: 7223 Massachusetts Avenue, New Port Richey
  • Pasco County Public Works (C-Barn) 30908 Warder Road, San Antonio

Please contact Pasco County Customer Service with questions or concerns. Call
727.847.2411 or chat with us online at MyPasco.net.

Pasco County updates are available on MyPasco.net and on our social media
platforms.

*Use Handy Tool to Report Damage in Pasco County
*Online tool available at MyPasco.net

Pasco County Government is offering an online tool to report storm damage
following Hurricane Idalia. This is the fastest way to get help and schedule
inspections with the county. We encourage you to upload a photo, too.

Just click on Report Damage to send information about the non-emergency
damages directly to our assessment teams. This tool is to report structural
damage to homes and businesses only.

You can access the Report Damage tool in a few convenient ways:

Visit our website: MyPasco.net
Click on this direct link: mypas.co/ReportDamage
Download the MyPasco App in the App Store or on Google Play
Call or Chat with Customer Service: 727.847.2411 / MyPasco.net

This tool allows Pasco County to gather accurate community information to help
the State of Florida and the Federal Emergency Management Agency determine if
Pasco County has enough damages to seek federal financial assistance.

Note: Please report downed power lines to 911.

If you have an emergency, call or text 911. For other concerns or questions,
call or chat with Pasco County Customer Service at 727-847-2411.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is deploying an Emergency Self-Contained
Rescue Team to assist the Levy County Sheriff’s Office in the aftermath of
Hurricane Idalia.

We are completely self-sufficient, with a mobile kitchen, bunk house, showers,
command center, communications, and specialty equipment we will use to help
with search and rescue, and answering calls for service.

More photos of flooding in Gulfport, Florida

Citrus County Sheriff’s Office

ROAD CLOSURE UPDATE 11 A.M.

At this time, due to the significant and rapidly increasing water levels we
are experiencing on the west side of the county, a large portion of US HWY 19
from CR 488 (West Dunnellon Road) to West Venable Street in Crystal River is
CLOSED. In addition, the portion of roadway from West Gulf to Lake HWY (SR 44)
to US HWY 19 is CLOSED.

Additional road closures can be expected as we continue to monitor the rising
water levels and the impacts of high tide later this afternoon around 4 p.m.
Unfortunately, residents in these areas will not be permitted back through due
to increased safety concerns.

Again, please wait until after the surge has passed and water levels begin to
recede before venturing out while conditions will still be hazardous.

Our Citizen Information Lines are open to the public for any questions or
concerns, call 352-249-2775.

DIAL 9-1-1 FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY.

Citrus County School District – schools closed through at least Thursday

Due to the ongoing coastal impact in our county of Hurricane Idalia, many of
our schools are continuing to be used as shelters.  As a result, school will
be cancelled tomorrow, Thursday, August 31st.  After the next high tide this
afternoon, we will have more information from the Emergency Management
Officials regarding the closure of shelters and a projected date of school
reopening.  Once the school district executive team have received more
information, we will let families know.  Please take all necessary precautions
to ensure your safety and your family’s safety.

Post offices closed

The U.S. Postal Service Florida 2 District has temporarily suspended mail delivery and retail operations at the below offices due to Hurricane Idalia. The safety of our employees and our customers is a priority for the Postal Service.

FACILITYADDRESSCITYSTATEZIP CODE
ANNA MARIA101B S BAY BLVDANNA MARIAFL34216
ARIPEKA18925 ARIPEKA ROADARIPEKAFL34679
BAY PINES10000 BAY PINES BLVD BLDG 20BAY PINESFL33744
BRADENTON BEACH116 BRIDGE STBRADENTON BEACHFL34217
BROOKSVILLE AVIATION16150 AVIATION LOOP DRIVEBROOKSVILLEFL34604
BROOKSVILLE DTS207 E. FORT DADE AVEBROOKSVILLEFL34601
BROOKSVILLE MAIN19101 CORTEZ BLVDBROOKSVILLEFL34601
BROOKSVILLE PLAZA7341 SPRING HILL DRIVEBROOKSVILLEFL34606
BROOKSVILLE SPRING HILL BRANCH8501 PHILATELIC DRIVEBROOKSVILLEFL34606
CLEARWATER MAIN100 S BELCHER ROADCLEARWATERFL33765
CLEVELAND STREET650 CLEVELAND STCLEARWATERFL33755
COUNTRYSIDE POSTAL STORE25941 US HIGHWAY 19CLEARWATERFL33763
HIGH POINT4600 140TH AVE N STE 100CLEARWATERFL33762
SUNSET POINT1851 N HERCULES AVECLEARWATERFL33763
CRYSTAL BEACH420 CRYSTAL BEACH AVECRYSTAL BEACHFL34681
DUNEDIN1350 COUNTY ROAD 1DUNEDINFL34698
ELFERS4122 MADISON STELFERSFL34680
HOLIDAY4737 MILE STRETCH DRIVEHOLIDAYFL34690
HUDSON ST13610 BIG BEND DRIVEHUDSONFL34667
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH204 4TH AVEINDIAN ROCKS BEACHFL33785
ISTACHATTA28199 MAGNON DRIVEISTACHATTAFL34636
LAND O LAKES5230 LAND O LAKES BLVDLAND O LAKESFL34639
LAND O LAKES CAX5875 EHREN CUTOFFLAND O LAKESFL34639
LARGO50 8TH AVE SWLARGOFL33770
LARGO SEMINOLE ST9355 113TH STLARGO-SEMINOLEFL33772
LONGBOAT KEY560 BAY ISLES ROADLONGBOAT KEYFL34228
MADEIRA BEACH15019 MADEIRA WAYMADEIRA BEACHFL33708
NEW PORT RICHEY6550 MAIN STNEW PORT RICHEYFL34653
TRINITY CARRIER ANNEX4022 LITTLE ROADNEW PORT RICHEY – TRINITYFL34655
NOBLETON29095 FORBES STNOBLETONFL34661
OLDSMAR3905 TAMPA ROADOLDSMARFL34677
OZONA310 ORANGE STOZONAFL34660
PALM HARBOR495 ALT 19PALM HARBORFL34683
PINELLAS PARK5260 78TH AVE NPINELLAS PARKFL33781
EMBASSY CROSSING9602 US HIGHWAY 19PORT RICHEYFL34668
PORT RICHEY CARRIER ANNEX8101 WASHINGTON STPORT RICHEYFL34668
PUNTA GORDA MAIN130 E MARION AVEPUNTA GORDAFL33950
SAFETY HARBOR1703 N MCMULLEN ROADSAFETY HARBORFL34695
CROSSROADS1275 66TH ST NSAINT PETERSBURGFL33710
EUCLID901 34TH AVE NSAINT PETERSBURGFL33704
GATEWAY MALL701 77TH AVE NSAINT PETERSBURGFL33702
GULFWINDS4222 22ND AVE SSAINT PETERSBURGFL33711
MIDTOWN1750 16TH ST SSAINT PETERSBURGFL33705
NORTHSIDE1201 GANDY BLVD NSAINT PETERSBURGFL33702
OPEN AIR76 4TH ST NSAINT PETERSBURGFL33701
SAINT PETERSBURG MAIN3135 1ST AVE NSAINT PETERSBURGFL33730
ST PETE BEACH250 COREY AVEST PETE BEACHFL33706
TARPON SPRINGS850 E LIME STTARPON SPRINGSFL34689

Here’s information provided by the state at 2pm Wednesday

This morning, Governor DeSantis provided updates on Hurricane Idalia at the State Emergency Operations Center as the storm made landfall as a Category 3 strom. He was joined by the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Executive Director Kevin Guthrie, Major General John D. Hass, U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Doug Schofield and Leon County Commissioner Christian Caban. Full remarks can be found here. Governor DeSantis’ Emergency Order can be found here..

At the direction of Governor DeSantis, the State Emergency Response Team is beginning to deploy assets, search and rescue and power crews to all impacted areas as soon as weather conditions permit.

Yesterday, Governor DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the activation of the Florida Disaster Fund to support communities impacted by Hurricane Idalia. The fund is a component of the Volunteer Florida Foundation, Florida’s official 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports volunteerism, community service, and disaster recovery. To donate, click here

State Preparedness and Response Efforts

  • FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Hurricane Idalia response.
  • FDEM has mobilized requested resources to support residents and first responders in the path of the storm for rapid deployment when weather conditions allow, including more than 100 pallets of Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), nearly 500 pallets of bottled water, and more than 20 pallets of tarps.
  • The Florida National Guard (FLNG) has been fully activated, with a mobilization of 5,300 guardsmen in position across the state for response efforts. Mobilized units are postured to support humanitarian assistance, route clearance, traffic control, aviation, and security missions throughout impacted areas.  
     
  • The FLNG 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team has deployed forward into western and northwestern Florida.
  • The Florida National Guard currently has:
    • 2400 vehicles to include high mobility and high-water vehicles, 
    • 14 FLARNG helicopters strategically placed around the state and that number could double with assistance from neighboring states,
    • 23 small watercrafts ready to support search and rescue, and reconnaissance missions. 
       
  • Two National Guard Truck Companies from neighboring states are enroute to Florida to provide our Guardsmen with additional mobility capabilities.
  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has activated the State Emergency Operations Center Team to support ongoing operations. FDLE has prepared:
    • One mobile command vehicle;
    • One operations command center;
    • Six mobile staging units;
    • 80 agents and analysts ready to deploy;
    • Three large trailers;
    • Four box trailers;
    • Two cargo trucks;
    • One forklift;
    • 24 generators and,
    • 30 Chainsaws.
  • Regional law enforcement coordination teams (RLECTs) are activated in impacted regions to assist local law enforcement agencies ahead of the storm.   
  • FDLE’s Criminal Justice Information Services received permission from the FBI to allow law enforcement agencies to perform criminal history queries on behalf of emergency shelters to determine suitability of shelter staff who may care for vulnerable populations (children, the elderly, the disabled).
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has readied all storm response resources statewide so they may be rapidly deployed to assist Floridians in need in the event of wind damage or flooding due to Hurricane Idalia. The FWC is closely monitoring the track of the storm and will be deploying resources to impacted areas as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Two rapid response teams consisting of officers, support staff and equipment have staged in locations just outside the projected path for immediate deployment following Hurricane Idalia’s exit from the impact zone. These teams consist of assets outside the immediate impact area. The teams have of a total of 47 officers and support personnel and the following equipment:
    • 47 four-wheel drive vehicles
    • 15 vessels including airboats and shallow draft vessels
    • 9 UTV/ATVs
    • 1 UAS (drone) unit
    • 4 swamp buggies
    • 2 supply trailers
    • 1 command trailer
    • 4 BERG units
    • 4 hygiene trailers
    • 1 water trailer
    • multiple generators
    • mobile communications equipment
    • fuel resupply containers
  • FWC Officers will respond with a variety of specialized equipment as necessary, including:
    • Shallow draft boats; 
    • Larger platform vessels; 
    • ATVs; 
    • Airboats; and  
    • Four-wheel drive vehicles. 
  • These assets are in addition to local FWC officers deployed to potentially affected areas. 
  • A supplemental support team of 15 additional officers and equipment has been identified to provide immediate assistance to the rapid response team if necessary.
  • FWC Special Operations Group (SOG) teams will serve as reconnaissance units for the State EOC and report back on damage after the storm has made landfall. 
  • FWC Aviation Section has been placed on standby and has readied all appropriate aircraft for potential deployment for EOC aerial assistance, reconnaissance, and post-storm damage assessments when needed.
  • The FWC has set up a hotline (888-404-3922) to report vessels lost, displaced or rendered derelict as a result of the storm.
  • A team of six FWC captive wildlife investigators has staged just outside the storm’s path to conduct assessments of Class I captive wildlife facilities following the storm.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol has 300 troopers ready to deploy and implemented 12-hour Alpha, Bravo shifts in troops B, C, D, G, H, I, J and K in preparation for Hurricane Idalia in order to provide resources to impacted areas. This activation has resulted in regular days off being cancelled and 24-Hour enhanced coverage.
  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has Hazardous Area Response Teams (HARTs) preparing for potential assessment and deployment to impacted areas as needed.
  • DEP’s request for a fuel waiver was granted by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily adjust certain regulatory requirements statewide so the state can ensure a sustained, useable fuel supply.
  • DEP is coordinating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Hazard Assessment Teams to assess oil and hazardous material releases, orphaned containers and/or fixed facilities post-landfall. 
  • All Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) Correctional Institutions have back-up power generators in the event commercial power is lost.
  • FDC Routine inmate transfers have been suspended. 
  • All FDC correctional officers and institutional staff are considered essential staff and work throughout the duration of the storm.
  • FDC offenders on community supervision have been given specific instructions from their probation officers regarding office closures.

Health and Human Services

  • The Florida Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) has released more than $104 million in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits early in preparation/response to Hurricane Idalia for over 327,000 households that would normally receive their September SNAP benefit between the 1st – 14th of the month. This applies to SNAP households located in one of the 49 designated counties in Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order. Eligible recipients will have the benefits automatically added to their EBT card. There is no need for recipients to apply.
  • DCF is assessing the need for utilization of the crisis counseling program and deployment of crisis counseling teams to support area resiliency.
  • The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is supporting 45 special needs shelters in the following counties: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Charlotte, Clay, Columbia, Citrus, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades/Henry, Hardee, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Nassau, Orange, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, St. John’s, Sumter, Suwannee, Union, and Volusia.  
  • Over 400 ambulances and paratransit buses are deployed or staged to support emergency medical services and patient transport. 
  • DOH Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan (CMS) conducted outreach to providers and high-risk clients within 46 counties. CMS has ensured clients have access to early prescription refills. 
  • DOH has staged 33 strike teams, totaling nearly 200 ambulances, for any facility evacuations or patient transport needs. Staging is currently in Marianna and Lakeland. An additional 200 ambulances have been requested.  
  • DOH has provided additional supplies of special infant formula to Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clients in need. WIC clients have been contacted regarding clinic closures.
  • The DOH and Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) sent information regarding early prescription refills permitted under Executive Order 23-171. This information was sent to the public, health insurers, managed care organizations, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmacy chains, and health care providers.
  • The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is pulling reports utilizing newly developed GIS software that includes information from residential providers and hospitals in the storm’s path, in coastal areas, and in counties under the State of Emergency.
  • AHCA sent a Medicaid Provider Alert outlining Key Medicaid Information for Fee-For-Service and Managed Care Providers during Hurricane Idalia, this can be found here.
  • The Agency waived all prior authorization requirements for providers to perform critical services beyond policy limits until further notice. 
  • AHCA has activated the Emergency Patient Look-Up System (E-PLUS). Special needs shelters are able to utilize the system to retrieve patient medical records. E-PLUS is also available to assist medical providers and emergency response personnel with locating missing or displaced persons after the storm.
  • The Department of Health began sharing Special Needs Shelter registrations and discharges on August 29, updated data will be sent by DOH at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.
  • Digital Services has been credentialed access to the E-PLUS Missing Persons tool to assist them in getting information about individual locations at healthcare facilities.
  • Publix pharmacies have agreed to share data with the E-PLUS and are also being credentialed to use the system to assist with prescribing needs.
  • AHCA partnered with Florida Health Care Association and Florida Hospital Association to initiate statewide calls with long-term care facilities and hospitals.
  • 100% of operating long-term care facilities have a generator on-site. The Generator Status Map for long-term care facilities is available here.
  • AHCA opened an event in the Health Facility Reporting System. All Residential/Inpatient Health Care Providers must submit updates on census, bed availability, evacuation and receiving status, power outages and generator status by 10AM daily and when a situation changes. This has been put in place for all 67 counties.
  • AHCA has contacted the Medicaid Managed Care Plans to ensure they are allowing early prescription refills. Fee-for-service recipients are also eligible for early refills.
  • AHCA Secretary Jason Weida has spoken with the CEOs of all hospitals that are evacuating, the CEOs of all Associations for Residential and Inpatient Health Care facilities, and the CEOs of all managed care plans to ensure lines of communication are open and we are working together.
  • AHCA staff has made over 1,111 calls on Tuesday and counting, in a coordinated outreach effort to all residential health care providers in the cone of the hurricane, along the coastlines, in mandatory evacuation zones, and those who have not updated HFRS.
  • The Dialysis Patient Assistance Hotline is active for patients who are unable to reach their facility or nursing homes needing assistance getting patients to centers post storm 800-826-3773.
  • Teledoc is providing free virtual health care services, including general medical telehealth visits, non-emergency services, and prescription refills, to Florida residents, first responders and others directly impacted by Hurricane Idalia. Call Teladoc directly at 855-225-5032.
     
  • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), based on the Governor’s Executive Order, has mapped out the locations and current census of APD clients and residents located in affected areas.
  • APD and its partners have contacted APD clients, families, providers and critical stakeholders to ensure readiness and track any evacuations plans for post storm activities.
  • WaterTracker is active, DEP’s online portal for drinking and wastewater facilities to report their operational status.
     
  • Walgreens has four mobile pharmacies positioned ready to deploy along with additional generators and are prepared to provide mobile pharmacy services for shelters.
  • The Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) is receiving daily updates from all 11 Area Agencies on Aging throughout Florida.
  • ElderSource (PSA 4, Jacksonville) has provided the following updates:
    • St. Johns Council on Aging will close on Wednesday and Thursday. Nutrition Services will send extra meals out tomorrow for those closures with the home-delivered meals. Their Independent Living Services and Programs departments are calling participants to check on them and to see if they need transportation to a hurricane shelter. They will be called again once the storm passes.
    • Flagler County Senior Services: Flagler has activated the EOC, Senior services staff are working 12-hour shifts at the EOC. Home delivered meals are still scheduled for today, so all home delivered meals will be going out today as scheduled. Call downs to clients were completed.  The Senior Center will be closed on Wednesday as of right now.

Infrastructure, Roads, State Closures and Outages

  • The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) continues to complete assessments of the fuel supplies as locations reported by CITGO to determine the severity of contaminated fuel within on-site tanks. Updates on inspections and testing can be found here
  • The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is maintaining high visibility on interstate systems, bridges, and rest areas. Motorists can report disabled vehicles or dangerous driving conditions to *FHP (*347).
  • FHP is assisting with evacuations in Dixie, Levy and Taylor counties in preparation for Hurricane Idalia.
  • FHP is coordinating UAV flights to capture images of all the State Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS) towers to ensure state law enforcement personnel have communications to provide Hurricane Idalia response and law enforcement resources.
  • FLHSMV driver license and motor vehicle service center closures can be found here.
  • Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobile units stand ready to deploy to affected counties post storm to aid with replacement of credentials. As of Tuesday August 29, 2023, almost 30 Troopers along with Cedar Key PD made contact at 840 homes in 2 hours to provide evacuation information and advise of available resources.
  • FDACS has opened up the consumer hotline to receive complaints from consumers impacted by the Port of Tampa fuel contamination. If you believe you were sold contaminated gasoline, you can file a complaint by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA or visiting fdacs.gov.
  • Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) For the latest and real-time road and bridge closures, please visit Florida 511, at FL511.com or download the app. Florida’s 511 Traveler Information System is available for drivers to stay informed about roadway conditions during emergencies. This service is monitored and updated 24/7 by FDOT and includes traffic conditions, road and bridge closures, and other specialized alerts.
  • Damage assessment teams have started to commence in areas where the storm has passed. 
  • FDOT has nearly 700 team members deployed to the impacted areas, which includes nearly 100 Bridge Inspectors and 224 Cut and Toss crew members.   
  • Nearly 250 pieces of major equipment, including 140 dump trucks, 59 pumps, and 207 other heavy equipment (front-end loaders, skid-steers, etc.)    
  • Nearly 1,100 generators are ready to deploy as needed to quickly restore traffic signals.
  • All 13 traffic management centers across the state, which are open 24/7, are monitoring road conditions and traffic levels along critical corridors including I-10, I-75, and I-4 to ensure safe travel for drivers.    
  • 185 Road Rangers are available across the state to assist motorists in need.   
  • Tolls have been suspended at facilities along the West Coast of Florida until Noon on Tuesday, September 5. The facilities include the I-4 Connector, Selmon Expressway (S.R. 618), Veterans Expressway (S.R. 589), Suncoast Parkway (S.R. 589), Turnpike Mainline (I-75 to I-4), Pinellas Bayway (S.R. 679), Sunshine Skyway Bridge (U.S. 19).    
  • FDOT issued an Emergency Order to temporarily allow expanded weight and size requirements for vehicles transporting emergency equipment, services, supplies, and agriculture commodities and citrus.     
  • For rolling updates on Florida’s airport, seaport, and transit partners, please visit local listings or www.fdot.gov/idalia.    
  • Remember to heed the advice of local officials following a severe weather event. FDOT reminds motorists to always proceed cautiously and drive safely. 
  • For the most up-to-date closures, visit Florida 511, at FL511.com or on the FL511 app.
  • Bridge Closures (as of 7 a.m.)
    • Charlotte County
      • US-41 at Peace River (Baron Collier) Bridge. All Lanes Closed 
    • Manatee County
      • I-275 North at Skyway Bridge. All Lanes Closed 
    • Pinellas County
      • I-275 South at Skyway Bridge. All Lanes Closed 
      • Howard Frankland Bridge. All Northbound Lanes Closed 
      • Courtney Campbell Causeway: All Eastbound Lanes Closed 
      • SR-699 (Gulf Blvd): All Lanes Closed  
  • Road Closures (as of 7 a.m.)
    • Charlotte County
      • Tamiami Trail at Harborside Ave. All Lanes Closed 
      • Tamiami Trail at Edgewater Dr. All Lanes Closed 
    • Gilchrist County
      • Debris in roadway on SR-26 at US 19. All Lanes Closed. 
      • Debris on roadway on US-129 at SW 10th St. All Lanes Closed 
    • Manatee County
      • Flooding on Cortez Rd Westbound at 127th St W. All Lanes Closed. 
      • Flooding on Manatee Ave Westbound at 75th St W. All Lanes Closed. 
    • Sarasota County
      • Flooding on US-41 North, at Main Street. All Lanes Closed 
      • Flooding on N Tamiami Trail at Fruitville Rd. All Lanes Closed 
  • For rolling updates on Florida’s airport, seaport, and transit partners, please visit local listings or www.fdot.gov/idalia.    
  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has published a storm updates webpage to keep state park visitors updated of closures: floridastateparks.org/StormUpdates. Visitors with existing camping and cabin reservations at closed parks have been notified of their reservation status.
     
  • DEP has pre-authorized 707 Disaster Debris Management Sites for the counties included in the Governor’s Executive Order to temporarily stage storm-generated debris that may result from the storm.
     
  • DEP is coordinating with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to respond to potential fuel availability impacts following the Port of Tampa Bay fuel mixing issue. 
  • Florida’s water management districts’ webpages have been updated to include links for real-time tracking of water levels.
     
  • The Florida Department of Education is consistently updating their website with school district closures, as well as State University System and Florida College System Closures.
    • 50 County School Districts have issued closures.
    • 20 Florida State College Systems have issued closures.
    • Nine State University Systems have issued closures.

Resources for Employees and Businesses

  • In partnership with FloridaCommerce, DOH has provided resources to private sector partners selling generators to Floridians regarding generator safety and carbon monoxide poisoning prevention. Information regarding proper generator safety has also been distributed on social media platforms.
  • FloridaCommerce has activated the private sector hotline at 850-815-4925 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Inquiries may also be emailed to [email protected].
  • FloridaCommerce has alerted the statewide Community Action Agency (CAA) Network and Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) to submit their anticipated cash needs or invoice packages for reimbursement, as appropriate, to ensure critical services to Floridians are not disrupted.
  • FloridaCommerce is hosting daily private sector coordination calls beginning Monday, August 28, 2023. Briefings will be provided by SERT meteorology, fuels, communications, transportation, and energy, as well as private sector partners such as the Florida Retail Federation, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, and VISIT FLORIDA. 
  • The following CareerSource locations will experience closures
    • CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion – from 5 p.m. on 8/28/23 through 8/30/23.
    • CareerSource Pasco Hernando – from 8/28/23 through 8/30/23.
    • CareerSource Tampa Bay – from 3 p.m. on 8/28/23 through 8/30/23.
    • CareerSource Gulf Coast Apalachicola and Port St. Joe Satellite Office- from 8/29/2023 through 8/30/2023.
    • CareerSource North Florida- from 12 p.m. 8/29/23 through 8/30/23. 
    • CareerSource Florida Crown- from 8/29/2023 through 8/30/2023.
    • CareerSource North Central Florida- from 1 p.m. 8/29/2023 through 8/30/2023.
    • CareerSource Pinellas- from 8/29/2023 through 8/30/2023.
    • CareerSource Suncoast- from 8/29/2023 through 8/30/2023.
    • CareerSource Northeast Florida- from 1 p.m. 8/29/2023 through 8/31/2023. 
    • CareerSource Southwest Florida- Fort Myers and Port Charlotte offices closed from 8/29/23 through 8/30/23.
    • CareerSource Capital Region- Wakulla from 12 PM 8/29/23 through 8/30/23, Leon and Gadsden through 8/30/23
    • CareerSource Flagler Volusia- through 8/30/23
    • CareerSource Central Florida- no public access from 12 PM 8/29/23 through 8/30/23, all offices providing virtual services only on 8/30/23
    • CareerSource Polk- from 8/30/23 through 9/1/23
    • CareerSource Heartland- through 8/30/23
  • FloridaCommerce partner, Wells Fargo, is supporting to ensure banking services remain available to Floridians.
     
  • FloridaCommerce partners at Publix have advised that all stores in Hillsborough County will be open today, Wednesday, August 30, at 9 a.m. Partners at Lowes stores have advised that stores in Pasco, Pinellas, Hernando, Hillsborough, Sumter, and Citrus counties will open at 9 a.m. today, with Marion County stores opening at 11 a.m. today.
  • FloridaCommerce has also been in contact with Amazon who will donate gift cards and supplies to nonprofits following the storm.
  • U-HAUL is offering 30 days of free self-storage or container use at more than 50 of its locations across the state. For more information contact the nearest participating location at bit.ly/3Ehal49.
  • Visa is waiving interchange fees for donations made to the Florida Relief Fund. They will match employee donations made in support of Florida disaster relief efforts and the Visa Small Business Team has activated their Back to Business tools to help Floridians affected by Hurricane Idalia.
  • Comcast has opened 141,000 public Xfinity WiFi hotspots in areas it serves across Florida in Hurricane Idalia’s potential path for anyone to use, including non-Xfinity customers, for free.
  • Uber announces FREE* round-trip rides to Florida shelter locations in in Alachua, Citrus, Collier, Dixie, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Leon, Manatee, Marion, Nassau, Orange, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Sumter, Union, and Volusia Counties in preparation of Hurricane Idalia.
    • Open your app.
    • Tap “Account” on the bottom right.
    • Tap Wallet
    • Scroll down to “+ Add Promo Code.”
    • Enter code IDALIARELIEF
  • Businesses located in Florida are encouraged to review the Business Re-Entry Procedures and ensure that employees have the required documentation prior to the storm’s arrival.
  • Rosen Hotels and Resorts is activating their Florida Residents Distressed Rates to give Floridians a safe, affordable place to stay during Tropical Strom Idalia. Evacuees can call 866-33-ROSEN (76736) to reserve a room.
  • VISIT FLORIDA has activated the Emergency Accommodations Module with Expedia to provide real-time availability of hotel rooms throughout the state.
  • A blast email from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) linking the Boil Water Notice Guidelines and the Emergency Recovery Guidelines will be sent to food and lodging establishments throughout the impacted areas of the state to help businesses prepare for post-storm recovery.
  • The DBPR Division of Hotels and Restaurants is coordinating and preparing emergency response teams in the Big Bend, North Florida and Tampa Bay regions for a post-storm rapid response to assist lodging establishments and restaurants in reopening as necessary.
  • DBPR encourages Florida’s licensed contractors who are looking to help property owners in need of post-storm construction-related services to register with the Florida Disaster Contractors Network at DCNOnline.org.
  • In response to Hurricane Idalia, DBPR has closed district offices today, Wednesday, August 30, 2023, in Fort Myers, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Largo, Manatee, Orlando, Tallahassee and Tampa. 
  • DBPR has published an emergency page at MyFloridaLicense.com/emergency, where the current status of DBPR office closures, executive orders, board meeting updates, and other resources related to Hurricane Idalia will be posted as necessary.
  • The DBPR Division of Service Operations is currently prioritizing the processing of roofing contractor and construction out-of-state endorsement applications to ensure an abundance of qualified, licensed contractors are available to legally provide construction and repair services to homeowners after Hurricane Idalia.
  • OIR issued an Informational Memorandum to all authorized residential property insurers to provide guidance on hurricane preparedness and response. OIR directed insurers to review all aspects of their disaster preparedness and response plans to ensure they’re in compliance with Florida law. Informational Memorandum OIR-23-05M is available here.

Emergency Orders

  • DBPR Emergency Order 2023-06 extends the renewal deadline for the following licenses:
    • CILB Registered Contractors: the deadline of August 31 is extended to October 2, 2023.
    • Community Association Management Firms: the deadline of September 30 is extended to October 25, 2023.
    • Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics: the deadlines of August 31 and September 30 are both extended to October 25, 2023.
    • Real Estate: the deadline of September 30 for sales associates, broker sales associates, brokers, instructors and schools is extended to October 25, 2023.
  • Licenses renewed on or before their new deadlines shall be considered as timely renewals and will not be assessed any late fees.
  •  APD executed Emergency Order No. 23-01 and additional Advisories providing necessary support to ensure business continuity.
  • State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo signed Emergency Order 23-001, which:
    • Waives competitive procurement requirements in order to procure commodities, goods, and services expeditiously in response to the emergency. 
    • Permits emergency medical transportation services to operate across county lines.
    • Permits paramedics and EMT’s licensed in other U.S. states, territories, or districts to practice in Florida in response to the emergency without penalty.

  • The State Surgeon General signed Emergency Order 23-002, which:
    • Permits mobile pharmacies to operate during the state of emergency.       
    • Extends the reporting requirement for controlled substances to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, contained in section 893.055(3)(a), Florida Statutes, from 1 day to up to 30 days.
    • Extends the licensure renewal deadlines set forth in sections 468.309(1)(a), 480.043(10), and 480.0415, Florida Statutes, for upcoming license renewals of radiological personnel, massage therapists, and massage establishments.

  • Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) has FLHSMV has issued Emergency Order 082623, which:
    • waives specific requirements for commercial motor vehicles providing emergency relief; and
    • waives the replacement fees for driver’s license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations and titles, vessel registrations and titles and temporary parking permits for impacted individuals.
  • Following the issuance of the Governor’s Executive Order, DEP has issued an Emergency Final Order waiving permitting requirements for the storage and processing of solid waste, including hurricane debris.
  • DEP’s Emergency Final Order also removes barriers for expediting necessary repair, replacement and restoration of structures, equipment, surface water management systems, works and other systems that may be damaged by the storm.
  • FDOT issued an Emergency Order to temporarily allow expanded weight and size requirements for vehicles transporting emergency equipment, services, supplies, and agriculture commodities and citrus.

Follow @FLSERT and @GovRonDeSantis on X, formerly known as Twitter, for live updates. Visit FloridaDisaster.org/Updates for more information.

You may also like

TECO customers criticize proposed rate increase

Listen: The Florida Public Service Commission held a public hearing...

Rendering of new baseball stadium with crown and palm trees surrounding it.
St. Petersburg city leaders discuss proposed new Rays Stadium

St. Petersburg City Council met for a workshop session Wednesday...

Florida Farmworkers Need More Legal Protections

A tragic bus accident killed 8 legal migrant farmworkers and...

The Scoop: Thurs. June 13th, 2024 Tampa Bay and Florida headlines by WMNF

A book about banning books is banned. St . Pete...

Ways to listen

WMNF is listener-supported. That means we don't advertise like a commercial station, and we're not part of a university.

Ways to support

WMNF volunteers have fun providing a variety of needed services to keep your community radio station alive and kickin'.

Follow us on Instagram

Revenge of the Synth
Player position: