Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Florida's Big Bend region Wednesday morning as a powerful Category 3 storm.
Idalia is the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the Big Bend region since 1896.
The storm, now a Category 1 hurricane, will move into Georgia and the Carolinas later Wednesday.
Aug 30, 11:49 AM
The core of Idalia is now in Georgia.
A flash flood emergency has been issued for Valdosta, Georgia, where more than 6 inches of rain fell this morning.
The latest path takes Idalia through Georgia and into the Carolinas through Wednesday evening.
— St. Pete Police (@StPetePD) August 30, 2023
The heaviest rain over the next 12 to 24 hours will be in the Carolinas, where some areas could see close to 10 inches of rain.
Five feet of storm surge is expected in Savannah and Charleston.
By 7 a.m. Thursday, the heavy rain will be hitting North Carolina's Outer Banks, and by late Thursday morning Idalia will move off the coast.
Aug 30, 11:35 AM
Cedar Key resident: 'Entire downtown commercial district is underwater'
Cedar Key, Florida, resident Michael Bobbit rode out the storm at home, and he told ABC News Live his house "dodged a bullet" and avoided flooding.
"I put my heart and soul into this house, and it seemed like it was about to float off into the Gulf of Mexico," he said. "I'm a native Floridian, so hurricanes inherently aren't a big deal to me, but this one … I was scared."
Storm surge several blocks in from the Gulf of Mexico large debris as well septic tank Cedar Key, FL Hurricane Idalia pic.twitter.com/c40jSZ5AlX
— Reed Timmer, PhD (@ReedTimmerAccu) August 30, 2023
While Bobbit's home was spared, Cedar Key's "entire downtown commercial district is underwater," he said. "We have no commercial buildings that aren't entirely inundated."
"I'd say 50% of the houses on the island have water in them," said Bobbit, who was walking in waist-deep water during the interview. "We're completely cut off from the mainland -- our bridges are inundated."
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) August 30, 2023
Bobbit said he and some other residents who stayed behind in Cedar Key are now "making sure everybody has what they need -- and we think we're in good."
"We're already cleaning up the streets," he said. "We live in community with one another -- we really take that seriously here and I'm really proud of our little town."
Aug 30, 11:17 AM
Flooding may strike Savannah, Charleston
ABC News Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee, who's in Treasure Island, Florida, near St. Petersburg, as Hurricane Idalia hits, said on "GMA3" that she's concerned about more flooding during high tide, which is around noon ET.
In the eye of Idalia in Perry! pic.twitter.com/MzvJSpHwHK
— Mike's Weather Page (@tropicalupdate) August 30, 2023
"Through the afternoon and early evening, if you can, avoid travel around the areas that are already flooded," Zee said.
She also stressed the dangers of storm surge, which she said can "twist buildings off of their foundations and roll them down the street."
"I've seen it with my own eyes several times," she said.
— Andrew Colantoni 🚀 (@acolan1006) August 30, 2023
Zee predicted Charleston and Savannah are "the next places we're going to see big water piling up like this."
"My concern really through the afternoon goes into South Carolina and coastal Georgia, and eventually tomorrow into North Carolina," she said.
Aug 30, 11:12 AM
Over 286,000 without power in Florida
More than 286,000 customers are without power in Florida as Hurricane Idalia hammers the state.
Aug 30, 10:57 AM
Idalia weakens to Category 1
Idalia has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds hours after it made landfall as a powerful Category 3.
High water levels are ongoing along Florida's Gulf Coast as Idalia's center crosses into southern Georgia.
Aug 30, 10:47 AM
40-foot trees snap in half
Libby Greg captured on camera the moment 40-foot trees snapped in half in her yard in Perry, Florida, in the Big Bend region.
One of the trees fell on the house and her child screamed out. But the family is safe, Greg told ABC News.
Aug 30, 10:25 AM
1 death reported in Pasco County
One death has been attributed to the hurricane in Pasco County, Florida, just north of Tampa.
A driver lost control and collided with a tree, suffering fatal injuries, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Aug 30, 10:18 AM
Winds move into Georgia
Sustained winds from Hurricane Idalia are down to 105 mph as the storm's damaging winds spread from Florida into southern Georgia.
Hurricane #Idalia making landfall in the Big Bend Area this morning with catastrophic storm surge. Surge concerns will continue along the west coast even though is pulling away from our area. Highest surge will be around the time of high tide this afternoon hours. Remain alert!⚠️ pic.twitter.com/kl8VmpJDjA
— NWS Tampa Bay (@NWSTampaBay) August 30, 2023
Aug 30, 9:59 AM
Nearly 900 flights canceled
Airlines have canceled at least 898 flights as Hurricane Idalia strikes Florida.
Tampa, Atlanta, Jacksonville and Orlando are the airports seeing the biggest impacts.
-ABC News' Sam Sweeney
Aug 30, 9:10 AM
Idalia down to Category 2
Hurricane Idalia, which is pummeling Florida, has weakened from a Category 3 to a Category 2 following landfall Wednesday morning.
Meteorologists are still warning of "catastrophic" storm surge along Florida's Big Bend coast.
— Pinellas County Sheriff's Office (@SheriffPinellas) August 30, 2023