Tropical Storm Idalia is strengthening quickly as it approaches the Gulf coast of Florida, where it is expected to make landfall as a major hurricane and bring storm surges, heavy rainfall, flash flooding and hurricane-force winds as early as Tuesday.
As of Monday morning, the storm was located off the western tip of Cuba with sustained winds of 65 mph. The National Hurricane Center predicts Tropical Storm Idalia will make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 111-129 mph.
Florida’s west coast is at risk for storm surges, where up to 11 feet of ocean water could surge on shore and cause destructive flooding. Idalia is also expected to bring heavy rainfall — from 3 to 6 inches, with isolated amounts of up to 10 inches — to parts of Florida and southern Georgia. Those in the path of the storm are being warned of expected power outages, downed trees and potential damage to buildings.
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