New video of the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia shows a strong storm surge pulling a sailboat straight into a bridge.
According to video posted by documentary filmmaker Jonathan Petra Mara, floodwaters reversed the Stan Hatch River, which forms the border between Dixie and Taylor counties in Florida, before entering the Gulf of Mexico at the Great Bend.
He said Weekly newspaper Water levels in Steinhatchee rose about 8 feet Wednesday, preventing the sailboat from passing under the bridge without injury. Their masts were snapped off.
“Weird storm because it weakened as it made landfall but was still very strong on the back side,” Tampa native Petra Mara said while recording footage from Crystal River, another hard-hit city. “The staggering amount of storm surge coming into Stan Hatch really changed the flow of the river at low tide.
“It was horrible for the people who lived there, it was the worst storm since the late 1800s … very dangerous, but most of the people weren’t there. Most of the people left.”
Hurricane Idalia made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane Wednesday morning, hitting prominent beachside communities like Cedar Island that could end up getting the hardest brunt of the storm due to an ongoing storm surge.
Hundreds of thousands of Floridians were reportedly without power. The federal government is sending aid not only to Florida, but also to Georgia and the Carolinas as they await the storm’s impact on those states.
More than 1,500 federal workers participated in the storm response, including providing millions of meals and liters of water. The U.S. Coast Guard is assisting with search and rescue efforts, while the Red Cross is on site to help house the displaced.
The Gulf Coast community of Steinhatchee, with 537 residents as of the 2020 census, experienced severe flooding of roads and marinas as Category 3 Hurricane Idalia swept through portions of the Gulf of Mexico shoreline.
Local news station WJXT posted a video on X (formerly known as Twitter) showing the widespread impact of the storm surge on Steinhatchee. The water was so high it almost touched power lines and the roofs of houses.
WJXT reporter Vic Micolucci wrote Some city businesses experienced 6 feet of water on Day X, while homes adjacent to Horseshoe Beach were submerged in about 10 feet of water.
The National Weather Service (NWS) Tallahassee station issued an extreme wind warning for Stan Hatch, which ended at 9:15 AM today. It was very windy and should be considered highly dangerous.
Winds were still gusting up to 40 mph in the area as of this afternoon, and people were still encouraged to seek shelter in sturdy structures.
Steinhatchee resident Daniel Dickert told the outlet his home was relatively unaffected compared to others. tampa bay times It was the highest water level he had seen in the decades he had lived there.
As of late Wednesday afternoon, Crystal River was about 2-3 feet high, Petramala said. The city center was flooded and some people were seen kayaking to safety.
He added that wind levels had leveled off, describing them as “strong winds” coming from the west. He added that the tsunami itself was “not like a tsunami,” as he experienced during Hurricane Ian in September 2022.
“This is a powerful hurricane on top of an astronomical high,” he said.