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Hurricane Idalia Just Misses Tallahassee, Hits East of Tallahassee and Coastline Instead

Hurricane Idalia Leaves a Trail of Destruction

With the promise of destruction, hurricane Idalia arrived on the Gulf Coast on Wednesday, Aug. 20 as a Category 3 hurricane. As the hurricane intensified, it temporarily became a Category 4 storm but hit the Big Bend area with a high of winds at 125 miles per hour. However, Idalia shifted east at the last moment and its strength didn’t last long as it came to Tallahassee and South Georgia, leaving little damage and becoming a tropical storm by late Wednesday.

The most damage people in Tallahassee faced was fallen trees, loss of power and debris.

I cleaned up my yard by picking up large sticks, cutting up fallen limbs and mowing the yard,” junior Collins Barton said. “Not a lot of cleaning up but a few solid hours of it.”

Most of the places affected by Idalia are sentimental to Maclay family’s, so the impact on them was hard to digest.

“I was very blessed to say that my house was not heavily impacted by the hurricane,” Barton said. “I know MacRae’s, a local hotel, in Homosassa, Florida was heavily impacted with flooding, wind damage and black river mud in the building. I grew up going there and it is sad that the building and town have major damage from the hurricane. It is crazy to see people swimming out of their windows or people wakeboarding behind a pick up truck on a street

School was canceled on Wednesday and Thursday, and most people used Tuesday afternoon and evening to prepare for Wednesday’s aftermath. 

My beach house is at Alligator Point,” senior Peyton Paske said. “Our house sustained minor damage to the roof and some water damage from the rainfall and storm surge. We prepared by getting all the electronics upstairs and safe from the rising water.”

Some Maclay families even traveled to other parts of Florida that were hit harder. For example, in Perry, Florida, buildings have been destroyed, power lines have fallen, signs on buildings have been knocked off and there’s debris everywhere. 

My family has been affected by down trees like the majority of the community,” cheer coach Erika Snow said. “They have no electricity, they are not working and the kids do not have school. The entire community is devastated. I am grateful for the fact that Tallahassee did not have this type of damage. However, my heart is so heavy for my hometown. It is just as hard for me to see so many people I love and have grown up with, in survival mode.”

As people take in the aftermath of the hurricane, they look for ways to help beyond picking up debris.

“The day of the storm we went down and helped them cut their way out of their property,” Snow said. “The amount of trees that were down everywhere had many people trapped. Beyond that, Coach Cauley and myself have decided we can help. We have already started organizing an effort to collect items to distribute in Taylor County.”

As people help their friends and families get back on their feet, the community remains grateful that they didn’t get the worst of the hurricane.

I am very grateful that Tallahassee did not get the brunt of the storm yet my heart goes out to those who were hit directly,” Barton said. “I have been to many of the places that have been hit like Perry, Homosassa and Crystal River. It will take time but I know they have the strength and resilience to cleanup. Those who live there will build back stronger. I am glad that there weren’t any deaths from the storm since you can rebuild your house but you can’t rebuild someone’s life.”

For more information on how to help with clean up efforts and providing supplies, contact Backpack Buddies TLH through their instagram and website


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Andy Poll

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