Hurricane Idalia strengthens into Category 3, eyes Florida landfall

Hurricane Idalia strengthened into a Category 3 storm on Tuesday, as it continued to churn through the Gulf of Mexico and headed towards Florida. The storm is expected to make landfall on Wednesday morning, bringing with it strong winds, heavy rain, and storm surge.

As of 8:00 AM EDT, Idalia was located about 285 miles southwest of Tampa, Florida. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, and was moving north-northwest at 14 mph.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a hurricane warning for the coast of Florida from Cedar Key to the Suwannee River. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the coast of Florida from the Aucilla River to the Ochlockonee River.

The NHC warns that Idalia could bring “life-threatening storm surge” to the Florida coast. The storm surge could be as high as 10 feet in some areas.

Idalia is also expected to bring heavy rain to Florida. The storm could produce up to 10 inches of rain in some areas.

Residents in the path of Idalia are urged to take precautions. They should evacuate if they are in an evacuation zone, and they should have a plan in place in case of power outages or other disruptions.

The NHC says that Idalia is expected to weaken after it makes landfall, but it is still a dangerous storm. Residents in the path of the storm should stay informed of the latest forecast and take all necessary precautions.

Here are some tips for staying safe during a hurricane:

* Evacuate if you are in an evacuation zone.
* Have a plan in place in case of power outages or other disruptions.
* Stay informed of the latest forecast.
* Listen to local officials for instructions.
* Secure your home and belongings.
* Stay away from downed power lines and flooded areas.
* Be prepared for extended power outages.

Hurricane Idalia is a serious storm, and residents in the path of the storm should take all necessary precautions to stay safe.

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