Hurricane Idalia crashed into Florida as a strong Category 3 hurricane on Wednesday.
It first made landfall close to Keaton Beach, near the panhandle of the state at about 7:45 a.m. and remained a formidable foe into the afternoon.
Called “an unprecedented event” by the National Weather Service of Tallahassee, Idalia is the first major hurricane to pass through the bay of the Big Bend, per The Associated Press.
The Wall Street Journal posted a video of the damage and destruction in Florida, weakening as it heads towards the Carolinas.
CNN reported that the storm has been a “one-in-a-lifetime” for many parts of the state. Here are what records it’s broken so far:
1. Rough winds reach the strongest speed in 125 years
The last time winds reached this speed in Florida’s Big Bend region was in 1896 by an unnamed hurricane. Then, winds hit 125 mph — the same speed as Hurricane Idalia.
This windspeed was fast enough to rip the roof off of the motel that Belond Thomas, a Perry resident, had relocated to with her daughter to avoid the storm, reported AP.
“It was frightening,” Thomas told AP. “Things were just going so fast. ... Everything was spinning.”
One video by storm chaser Zachary Halls shows the wind in Perry, Florida.
— Zachary Hall (@WxZachary) August 30, 2023
Store windows were destroyed, siding was ripped off buildings and a gas station canopy was blown away.
2. Raging storm surge
Just 20 miles south in a small town of 500 residents called Steinhatchee, water surged from Deadman’s Bay which swallowed businesses, boat docks and homes, reported AP. CNN reported that the storm surge was the highest here, hitting 9 feet in two hours.
The levels were record-breaking in areas nearby too, as the storm surge hit 8 feet and put Cedar Key, Florida, 6.8 feet above their highest normal tides, per CNN. The previous record was 5.99 feet.
One video posted by Jim Canore on X, previously known as Twitter, shows Cedar Key’s surge.
— Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) August 30, 2023
3. Rare warnings issued
As of Wednesday evening, all tropical/hurricane warnings were canceled announced the National Weather Service of Tallahassee.
But this marked the rare occurrence of extreme wind warnings, marking wind speeds of at least 115 mph, on the continental U.S. — until Wednesday, only 27 of these have been issued on the mainland, per CNN.
4. Rapid intensification
By increasing wind speed by at least 35 miles per hour in a 24-hour period, hurricanes are considered to have rapid intensification, or they get dangerous very quickly, reported the Wall Street Journal. This quality has been becoming more and more common but still isn’t considered a common occurrence.
Idalia gained speed quickly as it barreled toward the coast, gaining momentum right before hitting land as a Category 3 hurricane.