The hurricane, having previously reached Category 4 status, touched down near Keaton Beach as a Category 3, and was clocked at sustained winds of 125 miles per hour.
By 9 a.m. Idalia had downgraded once again to a Category 2. As the hurricane moves inland, its wind speeds will continue decreasing.
According to the National Hurricane Center, water levels along the coast of the Florida Big Bend are rising rapidly. The NWS continues to relay that catastrophic storm surges and damaging hurricane-force winds are imminent.
The National Weather Service (NWS) says it’s possible storm surge could rise as high as 15 feet in some areas.
The National Weather Service in Tallahassee called Idalia “an unprecedented event” since no major hurricane on record has ever passed through the bay abutting the Florida Big Bend.