Tropical storm Idalia drenches the Southeast


10:26 a.m. ET, August 31, 2023

Idalia left “significant damage” in Big Bend area of Florida, governor says

A displaced mobile home is seen in the middle of a road in Steinhatchee, Florida, on August 30.

Chandan Khanna/AFP/.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday said Hurricane Idalia caused “significant damage particularly along Florida’s Big Bend, but the community is resilient.”

“We are going to work hard to make sure people get what they need,” the governor said at a post-storm briefing alongside state and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials. 

According to DeSantis, about “420,000 accounts that lost power during the storm have been restored and the bulk of the outages at this point are in that Big Bend region, a lot of the rural counties that bore the brunt of the storm.”

About 141,000 customers remain without power across the state, according to DeSantis noted that some areas — such as parts of Taylor County in the Big Bend area — remain “100% out.”

The governor added that there were about 40 successful rescues made as of last night.

“This includes 29 by the Florida National Guard, our Fish and Wildlife officers assisted with a medical evacuation yesterday and they are conducting high water and welfare checks,” he said. 

Later today: DeSantis said he and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell will tour “some of the hard-hit areas like Cedar Key and Steinhatchee” to assess storm damage.

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