(CNN) -- Hurricane Idalia made landfall near Keaton Beach in Florida’s Big Bend as a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and even higher gusts.
This makes Idalia the strongest storm to make landfall in the Big Bend region in more than 125 years. It has begun an ominous trudge across Florida and the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, where residents are urged to beware the sort of floods, strong winds and tornadoes already impacting Florida’s west coast, the National Hurricane Center said.
Idalia is the third hurricane to make landfall in Florida in the last 12 months, following Hurricane Ian in September 2022 and and Hurricane Nicole in October 2022.
Residents had been urged to flee and the National Guard prepped for rescues as “extremely dangerous” Idalia took aim with once-in-a-lifetime damaging winds and a life-threatening storm surge of up to 16 feet, the National Hurricane Center said.