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‘Surrounded By Water’: Storm Surge Inundates Florida’s Cedar Key

   DailyWire.com
A news reporter walks onto a dock ahead of Hurricane Idalia in Cedar Key, Florida, US, on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023.
(Christian Monterrosa/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Visceral images showing the storm surge from Hurricane Idalia emerged Wednesday out of Cedar Key, a small clump of islands that make up a city of roughly 800 full-time residents and a National Wildlife Refuge along the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Short video clips posted to X captured inundated streets, torrents crashing upon the walls of structures, pieces of debris floating around, and buildings flooded with water in the area.

The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore, who is well known for broadcasting live from stormy disasters, picked Cedar Key as his base of operations while covering Hurricane Idalia. He and his producer shared videos showing more than 6 feet of storm surge and its effects.

“Surrounded by water as expected,” Cantore said in one post.

A mandatory evacuation order instructed Cedar Key residents to leave the city by Tuesday, but not everyone heeded the warning.

Asked during a press conference about an estimated 100 people who refused to flee, Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis noted there was a “hazardous situation” with the storm surge.

“There will be rescue efforts done if need be,” he said. “And hopefully it’s not necessary. Hopefully they knew what they were doing and they have a spot.”

As Idalia approached Florida, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that some areas in and around the Big Bend region along the coast might face double-digit storm surge when measured in feet.

NHC Deputy Director Jamie Rhome said he was “especially concerned” for anyone who remained in Cedar Key as it was “right smack in the middle of that area,” noting “the entire island could be cut off with conditions like that.”

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Idalia made landfall as a major Category 3 hurricane around 7:45 a.m. near Keaton Beach, Florida, which is located about an 89-mile drive north of Cedar Key.

Michael Bobbit, a Cedar Key resident, called in to speak with ABC News about what Idalia did to his city.

“It looks like our entire downtown commercial district is underwater,” Bobbit said. “We have no commercial buildings that aren’t almost entirely inundated. And it means — I’d say 50% of the houses on the island have water in them.”

Bobbit, who mentioned that he was walking through waist-deep water while surveying the damage, also said, “So far I don’t think we’ve had any loss of life or any significant injury.”

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