The National Hurricane Center says Idalia is forecast to become a major hurricane by Monday, bringing potentially life-threatening storm surge, destructive winds and flooding rain to the US.
The storm is expected to turn toward Florida late Monday and reach the northeastern part of the state, from the Florida Panhandle to the St. Petersburg area, late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
The hurricane center warns of life-threatening storm surge and devastating winds along the coast and in the Keys, and it could cause extended wind and flooding along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. It also warns of possible tornadoes in northern and central Florida.
People in the storm’s path should begin preparing for potential impacts. They should monitor the progress of the storm and heed all instructions from local emergency management officials.
It is also important to secure any outdoor furniture and other yard objects, such as tree limbs and canopies. In addition, be sure to compile a list of important items like medications, clothes, documents, and electronic devices in the event of an evacuation. Lastly, if staying in an area that could be affected, review evacuation plans and make sure that family members and pets have a safe location to go during the storm.