Southern states in the path of Hurricane Idalia are taking action, declaring a state of emergency as the storm draws near.
The Gulf Coast is the target of the storm being forecast as one of the highest-intensity hurricanes the US has ever seen. Storm Idalia advances at 15 mph, and it’s expected to further intensify into a category 3 or 4 hurricane by Wednesday.
Governors of Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina are leading preparations. Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp stressed the importance of being prepared, ensuring state assets are poised for emergency response.
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell revealed $3.4 billion remains in FEMA’s emergency fund, prioritising Idalia and other imminent weather events.
Resources have been positioned in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas as weather experts have voiced concerns about the hurricane’s path, especially regarding storm surge.
FEMA’s urban search and rescue teams are on standby, supported by the Army Corps of Engineers for power generation missions.
Weather forecasters said certain areas might experience 10 to 15 feet of storm surge.
Governor DeSantis of Florida advised citizens to find safe structures for shelter and ride out the storm.
In South Carolina and North Carolina, Governors Henry McMaster and Roy Cooper also are on their marks and declared states of emergency as heavy rainfall is feared to cause flooding, particularly in the southeast.
Governor McMaster said that he would ensure the resources are available in case of flooding. Governor Cooper urged North Carolinians to prepare in advance and stock up on supplies.
Officials suggested citizens activate emergency alerts, download weather apps, create plans, gather supplies, and remain aware of evacuation zones. Motorists are being warned against flooded roads and advised to turn back if facing flooding.
Governor Cooper also urged North Carolinians to gather emergency supplies and make preparations in advance. He also advised people to stay updated through official sources, set up emergency alerts on their phones, and follow safety measures such as downloading weather apps and creating evacuation plans.