Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has added Orlando (via Orange and Osceola counties) to his State of Emergency order ahead of Hurricane Idalia hitting the state this week, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Hurricane Idalia State of Emergency Declared for Orlando
While Orlando isn’t expected to bear the brunt of the storm’s effects, public schools in Orange County will be closed on Wednesday, and local governments have set up sandbag sites.
Hurricane Idalia formed this morning, and is forecast to grow into a Category 3 hurricane before it hits Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday morning, per the Orlando Sentinel.
Current forecasts show the hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, with its projected path heading inland between Gainesville and Tallahassee. Forecasters estimate peak sustained winds of 125 miles per hour, with gusts up to 155 miles per hour, and storm surge that could reach 15 feet by mid-morning on Wednesday.
The storm is expected to move quickly over Florida, but the state could still see rainfall of up to 4-8 inches, with some areas getting as much as 12 inches along Florida’s west coast and panhandle.
To assist in evacuation efforts, Florida’s Department of Transportation has removed tolls in portions of the state.
At this time, both Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort are operating as normal, with both destinations closely monitoring the weather. Walt Disney World is waiving their change and cancellation fees through September 5, and offering 50% off hotel stays for Florida residents evacuating and first responders dealing with the storm.
Will you be in Florida when Hurricane Idalia hits? Are you getting prepared to ride out the storm, or will you be evacuating? Let us know in the comments.