August 30, 2023 - Idalia makes Florida landfall

By Elizabeth Wolfe, Liz Enochs, Leinz Vales, Adrienne Vogt, Mike Hayes, Elise Hammond and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 12:10 a.m. ET, August 31, 2023
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11:40 p.m. ET, August 30, 2023

Storm surges expected along Southeastern coast through the night, NWS says

Storm surges are expected to impact much of the Southeast coast through tonight as Idalia continues its path sustaining tropical storm-force winds of up to 60 mph, according to an 11 p.m. ET update from the National Weather Service (NWS).

Coastal flooding is also expected in Storm Surge Watch areas in North Carolina on Thursday, NWS noted its latest update.

Idalia is currently 15 miles northwest of Charleston, South Carolina. Here's where you can track the storm's path.

10:34 p.m. ET, August 30, 2023

Flooding from Idalia causes a number of roads to close in Charleston, police say

From CNN’s Joe Sutton 

The streets of downtown Charleston, South Carolina, are flooded after Idalia on August 30.
The streets of downtown Charleston, South Carolina, are flooded after Idalia on August 30. Liamswx/X

Numerous roads are currently closed across Charleston, South Carolina, due to flooding from Idalia, police noted in a social media post Wednesday evening.

“!! TRAFFIC ALERT !! Numerous roads on the peninsula are closed and limiting access to some areas … Please do not drive around barricades or in to standing water,” the Charleston Police Department said in the post.

Earlier, the National Weather Service (NWS) Charleston said there was major inundation in the area including in downtown Charleston.

“URGENT: Major coastal inundation being reported at Edisto Beach and Downtown Charleston. Water has breached the Charleston Battery. Dunes are breached at Edisto with water flowing under homes and onto roadways,” the NWS said

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office also posted a picture on social media of a flooded roadway and warned residents to stay home.

“It’s a good night to stay in. Trees are down. Roads are flooded. If you encounter street flooding, turn around. Don’t drown. This is the scene deputies found on Pinckney Street in McClellanville,” the sheriff’s office said in its post.


10:08 p.m. ET, August 30, 2023

Florida's Citrus County issues mandatory curfew

From CNN’s Amy Simonson

The Citrus County Board of Commissioners in Florida issued a mandatory curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time, prohibiting all travel within evacuation Zone A, the county's sheriff's office said in a statement Wednesday. 

“Citizens who live in this area will not be permitted to return until this curfew is lifted and conditions have been deemed safe,” the statement read. 

The statement warns citizens to use “extreme caution when venturing back out” and to not walk or drive through standing water. 

“There is no way to know what dangers are hidden beneath the surface, not to mention possible contamination,” it said. 

The statement added that there is "an abundance of wildlife that has been displaced as a result of this storm."

Restoration efforts have begun and will continue “for an unknown period of time," the sheriff's office said. Road closures are still in place for the west side of the county, it added.

“US HWY 19 from CR 488 (West Dunnellon Road) to West Venable Street in Crystal River and the portion of roadway from West Gulf to Lake HWY (SR 44) to US HWY 19 is still CLOSED,” the statement said. 

Emergency shelters are scheduled to close Thursday, and some government offices and services will resume normal operations.

10:04 p.m. ET, August 30, 2023

Hurricane cleanup begins in Jacksonville after storm, mayor says

From CNN’s Amy Simonson

The city of Jacksonville began cleanup Wednesday after Hurricane Idalia pushed its way through Florida.

“Luckily, here in Duval (County), we’re spared the worst impacts,” Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan said at a news briefing Wednesday.

Power outages, downed power lines and downed trees remain a concern, Deegan said.

Crews have restored electricity to about 75,000 of the 85,000 customers, the mayor said. 

Duval County Schools will be closed Thursday so officials can clean them up after using them as shelters, she said. Classes will resume on Friday.

10:57 p.m. ET, August 30, 2023

Idalia is moving through South Carolina. Here's what else you should know

From CNN staff

This satellite image from 11:21 a.m. EDT shows Hurricane Idalia, center, over Florida and crossing into Georgia, and Hurricane Franklin, right, as it moves along off the East coast of the United States on August 30.
This satellite image from 11:21 a.m. EDT shows Hurricane Idalia, center, over Florida and crossing into Georgia, and Hurricane Franklin, right, as it moves along off the East coast of the United States on August 30. NOAA/AP

Idalia touched down on Florida's Gulf Coast early Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane, making it the strongest to make landfall in the Big Bend region in more than 125 years.

Idalia weakened to a tropical storm Wednesday night and continues to weaken as it treks across the Southeast, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The center of the storm is now moving through South Carolina and is 60 miles west of Charleston, the center said. In addition to the surge, heavy rain, gusty winds and the threat for tornadoes will continue into the overnight hours for eastern sections of the Carolinas.

Here's what else you should know:

  • Georgia: Flash flood warnings were issued across parts of Georgia as the state braced for Idalia. All flights out of Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport have been canceled for the rest of Wednesday, the airport posted on social media. And government offices for the city of Savannah will remain closed Thursday due to the weather, the city announced in a news release Wednesday. 
  • Florida: About 150 residents were rescued from flooded neighborhoods in Pasco County as Hurricane Idalia moved through Florida, according to an official. Some areas of Florida saw more than 9 inches of rain and winds up to 85 mph, according to preliminary reports. A 15-mile stretch of Interstate 10 in Madison County remains closed, although the department of transportation is working to have it re-opened tonight, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday. About 4,000 to 6,000 homes were damaged in Florida's Pasco County during the storm, according to Pasco County Administrator Mike Carballa. Florida’s biggest concern following Hurricane Idalia is people who do not have power, according to Kevin Guthrie, the state's director of emergency management. Also, there have been reports of people looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia in Steinhatchee, a village in hard-hit Taylor County, DeSantis said Wednesday.
  • The Carolinas: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper urged residents to stock up on supplies and stay off flooded roads when Hurricane Idalia hits the area with heavy rainfall and localized flooding. A state of emergency was declared Monday for the state and a tropical storm warning is in effect for the entire coast of the state, Cooper said. Some schools in North Carolina are closing early or canceling activities as Hurricane Idalia moves toward the state. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said he doesn’t think the storm will be as bad as previous hurricanes that have hit the state.
  • Power outages: More than 460,000 customers are without power in Florida and Georgia on Wednesday evening, according to tracker PowerOutage.Us.
  • How to help: Learn about ways you can help support relief efforts by clicking here.
9:04 p.m. ET, August 30, 2023

Charleston Harbor records 5th highest water level ever amid rising storm surge

From CNN's Taylor Ward

The water level in Charleston Harbor has exceeded the forecast of 8.7 feet and is now at 9.03 feet, the National Weather Service posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

This is the fifth-highest level ever recorded and is only slightly behind values recorded in 2016 with Hurricane Matthew (9.29 feet) and 2017 with Hurricane Irma (9.92 feet). The highest level was 12.52 feet in 1989 during Hurricane Hugo.

High tide was at 8:24 p.m. ET.

8:44 p.m. ET, August 30, 2023

Man killed by a falling tree in Lowndes County, Georgia, sheriff says

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

A man was killed after he was hit by a tree as Idalia blew through Georgia, an official said Wednesday.

The victim was cutting a tree on a highway when a tree fell on him, Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk told CNN.

Lowndes County is in southern Georgia near the Florida border and includes the city of Valdosta.

8:29 p.m. ET, August 30, 2023

Crystal River was "decimated" by Idalia, but official vows community will bounce back

From CNN’s Sara Smart

Crystal River, a city of about 3,500 people, was "decimated" by Hurricane Idalia, the city manager said Wednesday.

Douglas Baber expressed relief however that there has been no loss of life reported in the town in the heart of Florida's Big Bend, which bore the brunt of the Category 3 storm as it came ashore.

The water damage however is widespread with the city hall itself getting 8 feet of storm surge, the city manager said.

“We’ll come back," he told CNN's Erica Hill. "This city bounces back."