Aug 31, 2023 - News

Tampa Bay escapes major damage from Hurricane Idalia

Children biking through flood waters on a dock

Boys on bicycles during a storm surge yesterday at Ballast Point Park in Tampa. Photo: Juan Manuel Barrero Bueno/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Another major hurricane has left Tampa Bay relatively unscathed.

Catch up quick: Hurricane Idalia made landfall Wednesday morning along the coast of Florida's Big Bend as a Category 3 storm.

  • The hurricane warning for areas including Tampa Bay was lowered to a tropical storm warning in an 11am update from the National Hurricane Center.

Zoom in: Several homes and buildings flooded in Pasco County and Tarpon Springs, the Tampa Bay Times reports. But for the most part, cleanup in other parts of Tampa Bay was minimal.

  • Streets across the region were covered in water for much of the day. In Pasco County, fire rescue crews saved over a hundred people from floodwaters, local officials said in a Facebook post.
  • Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters there was one unconfirmed fatality across the state in Idalia's aftermath.

What they're saying: "We have thankfully not suffered a great deal of damage in our community," Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in a press conference Wednesday.

State of reopening: Idalia prompted authorities to close the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Howard Frankland Bridge and part of the Courtney Campbell Causeway, along with Pinellas County's barrier islands. The bridges and islands were reopened by the end of the day.

  • Tampa and St. Petersburg's international airports reopened for arriving flights in the afternoon, and will reopen fully Thursday.
  • Most area schools are also reopening Thursday.

Flashback: Tampa Bay expected to take a big hit from Hurricane Ian last year, but it moved south devastating the southwest coast from Sarasota to Fort Myers.

Meanwhile: Florida Division of Emergency Management officials said the town of Perry suffered the most damage from the storm. Multiple businesses there caught fire and had collapsed roofs.


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