July 18, 2024

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Virginia Task Force 1 heads to Florida for Tropical Storm Idalia

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VIRGINIA, USA — FEMA has activated the Virginia Task Force 1 to help in response to Tropical Storm Idalia as the storm heads toward Florida. 

Idalia is continuing to strengthen as it moves through the Yucatan Peninsula. The storm is forecast to become a Category 1 hurricane Monday. The hurricane will continue to move through very favorable conditions for development through Tuesday afternoon and strengthen into a category 2 hurricane and eventually become a major category 3 hurricane prior to landfall Wednesday morning. 

Florida residents loaded up on sandbags and evacuated from homes in low-lying areas along the Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Idalia intensified Monday and forecasters predicted it would hit in days as a major hurricane with potentially life-threatening storm surges. It is the first storm to hit Florida this hurricane season and a potentially big blow to the state, which is also dealing with lingering damage from last year’s Hurricane Ian.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in 46 counties, a broad swath that stretches across the northern half of the state from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Coast. The state has mobilized 1,100 National Guard members, who have 2,400 high-water vehicles and 12 aircraft at their disposal for rescue and recovery efforts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

2023-08-29 02:10:19

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