Hurricane Idalia updates: Biden heads to Florida as DeSantis doesn’t plan to meet with president

Flood waters from Hurricane Idalia inundate Steinhatchee, Florida

Joe Biden is set to visit Florida, where Hurricane Idalia has left behind a trail of destruction. Evacuated residents are returning only to find their homes gone, and thousands more are still without power.

While the president will likely visit with victims of the storm, he reportedly will not be meeting with the state’s Governor Ron DeSantis. The governor’s office justified the skip, saying the security preparations would be too involved to impose on a rural community recovering from a hurricane.

Idalia ploughed into Florida as a Category 3 Hurricane on Wednesday morning before losing power as it moved inland through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

As of 4am ET on Friday morning, the National Hurricane Center reported that Idalia had the strength of a post-tropical cyclone and was heading for Bermuda where it will bring heavy rain and powerful winds over the weekend.

In Florida, 97,000 homes were still without power as of 4.45am ET on Friday morning.

Governor Ron DeSantis said on Thursday that restoring power and clearing debris would be a key priority throughout Friday. There are also concerns over flesh-eating bacteria, carbon monoxide, and other health risks in the state, local officials said.


Despite opposing it after Sandy, DeSantis says Florida will apply for federal disaster relief money

Oliver O’Connell2 September 2023 16:00


Tampa Bay area again dodges direct hit from major hurricane

Last year it was Hurricane Ian that drew a bead on Tampa Bay before abruptly shifting east to strike southwest Florida more than 130 miles (210 kilometers) away. This time it was Hurricane Idalia, which caused some serious flooding as it sideswiped the area but packed much more punch at landfall Wednesday, miles to the north.

In fact, the Tampa Bay area hasn’t been hit directly by a major hurricane for more than a century. The last time it happened, there were just a few hundred thousand people living in the region, compared with more than 3 million today.

Oliver O’Connell2 September 2023 15:40


DeSantis says he won’t meet Biden during president’s visit to Florida after Hurricane Idalia

Ron DeSantis’ office has said that he won’t meet Joe Biden during the president’s trip to Florida this weekend to inspect the damage caused by Hurricane Idalia.

Organizing a meeting between the Florida governor and Mr Biden would hamper disaster response efforts, a spokesman for Mr DeSantis said.

“In these rural communities, and so soon after impact, the security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts,” Jeremy Redfern said in a statement. READ MORE:

Graig Graziosi2 September 2023 15:30


After Idalia, Biden wants an extra $4bn for disaster relief

The White House will seek an additional $4bn to address natural disasters as part of its supplemental funding request — a sign that wildfires, flooding and hurricanes that have intensified during a period of climate change are imposing ever higher costs on US taxpayers.

The Biden administration had initially requested $12bn in extra funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund, which helps with rescue and relief efforts. But an official in the Democratic administration said that the fires in Hawaii and Louisiana as well as flooding in Vermont and Hurricane Idalia striking Florida and other Southeastern states mean that a total of $16bn is needed.


Hurricane Idalia on track to be US’s costliest climate disaster this year

Analysts are estimating that Hurricane Idalia may become the most costly climate disaster in the US this year, according to a report.

The storm — which made landfall near Big Bend, Florida, on Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane — caused an estimated $9.36bn based on early estimates from UBS, a risk analysis firm. However, those are only early estimates; Accuweather predicted the total damage could be somewhere between $18bn and $20bn.

Graig Graziosi2 September 2023 15:00


Why Hurricane Idalia stopped intensifying and turned away from Tallahassee

In the final hours before Hurricane Idalia struck Florida the storm had grown into a Category 4 beast lurking off the state’s west coast, and the forecast called for it to continue intensifying up until landfall.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft had recorded winds up to 130 mph (215 kph), the National Hurricane Center said in an ominous bulletin at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

As the sun rose an hour later, however, there was evidence the hurricane began replacing the wall around its eye — a phenomenon that experts say kept it from further intensifying. Maximum winds had dropped to near 125 mph (205 kph), the Hurricane Center said in a 7 a.m. update.

Then came another surprising twist: A last-minute turn sparing the state’s capital city of Tallahassee from far more serious damage.


Joe Biden set to visit Florida, but not Ron DeSantis

Joe Biden will visit Florida today to inspect the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia’s destruction and offer support to the storm’s victims.

Notably absent from his itinerary, however, is Governor Ron DeSantis.

Though Mr DeSantis has made clear his intentions of securing the GOP primary nomination and dethroning Mr Biden in 2024, the governor’s campaign said it was logistics, not bad blood, that kept the men from meeting.

“We don’t have any plans for the Governor to meet with the President tomorrow,” Jeremy Redfern, Mr DeSantis’s spokesman, said in an email to Reuters. “In these rural communities, and so soon after impact, the security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts.”

Graig Graziosi2 September 2023 14:34


Florida attorney general defends DeSantis’ ‘you loot, we shoot’ threat

The Florida attorney general has defended Governor Ron DeSantis after he discouraged looters and referenced signs put up saying “you loot, we shoot”.

Gustaf Kilander2 September 2023 14:20


Florida residents share heartbreaking photos of Hurricane Idalia’s wrath

Florida residents shared heartbreaking photos of the destruction caused by Hurricane Idalia after the powerful storm swept into the state on Wednesday.

Idalia made landfall around 8am as an “extremely dangerous” Category 3 storm with 120mph winds and warnings of “catastrophic” coastal surge up to 15 feet in places. More than 250,000 customers were left without power on Wednesday.

The hurricane came ashore near Keaton Beach in Big Bend, southeast of Tallahassee, an area known as “Florida’s nature coast” and less densely-populated than other parts of the state.

But that was cold comfort for the small, tranquil communities dotting the coastline with Idalia forecast to be the strongest storm to hit the region in more than 100 years.

Louise Boyle2 September 2023 14:00


DeSantis says Florida will apply for federal funds

Oliver O’Connell2 September 2023 13:40

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/tropical-storm-hurricane-idalia-damage-pictures-b2403803.html Hurricane Idalia updates: Biden heads to Florida as DeSantis doesn’t plan to meet with president

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