Hurricane Idalia Strikes Southeast U.S.

Aerial view of burned rubbles are seen where a house stood after a power transformer explosion in the community of Signal Cove in Hudson, Florida, on August 30, 2023, after Hurricane Idalia made landfall.

Hurricane Idalia Strikes Southeast U.S.

Idalia, a Category 3 hurricane, made landfall southeast of Tallahassee, Florida, yesterday morning. This is Florida’s first major storm of the hurricane season. According to unconfirmed reports, two people in Florida died due to traffic accidents caused by the hurricane.

Later that day, after being downgraded to a tropical storm, Idalia traveled into Georgia en route to South Carolina. By Thursday morning, Idalia had left South Carolina and is currently in the Atlantic Ocean.

The damage: Idalia hit a more sparsely populated area than some other hurricanes have. But when it first hit, about 150,000 Floridians lost power. Roughly the same number lost power in Georgia, and over 50,000 people are currently without power in the Carolinas. The preliminary damage estimate for Idalia is $9.4 billion, making it 2023’s costliest disaster for the United States thus far.

Why disasters? Idalia could have been much more catastrophic, but it still disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands. It has placed a massive financial burden on a fragile economy. And its aftereffects won’t go away immediately.

There is a purpose for disasters like Idalia. Some are more horrific than others, but all are meant to point us to a higher truth. To learn what that truth is, read our Trends article “Why the Trumpet Watches Increased ‘Natural’ and Weather Disasters.”