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Tropical Storm Idalia continues to leave a trail of destruction as it moves out to sea

A flooded street in Palms Island, South Carolina, on Wednesday, August 30. Palm Island Police Department/Reuters
A flooded street in Palms Island, South Carolina, on Wednesday, August 30. Palm Island Police Department/Reuters

After making landfall in Florida as a Category 3 hurricane Wednesday morning, Hurricane Idalia battered parts of southeast Georgia and the Carolinas, inundating coastal areas and causing power outages for hundreds of thousands.

The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Idalia strengthened into a tropical storm early Thursday, causing life-threatening flash flooding in parts of eastern North Carolina.

Here are other Idalia developments first thing this Thursday:

About Carolina: The center of Tropical Storm Idalia was located about 20 miles southwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph at 2 a.m. ET Thursday. The National Hurricane Center said the storm is expected to move near the coast of North Carolina later Thursday.

Floods in North Carolina: Between 2 and 5 inches of rain fell in southeastern parts of the state, including the Wilmington region, where a flash flood warning was issued early Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Parts of Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties were under the advisory.

Flood rescue operations: Rescuers have rescued about 150 residents from flooded neighborhoods in hard-hit Pasco County, Florida, north of Tampa, the county fire chief said.

Thousands of homes damaged: Between 4,000 and 6,000 homes were flooded in Pasco County, Florida alone, according to County Sheriff Mike Karpala.

Historical water levels: The National Weather Service said waters in Port Charleston, South Carolina, rose more than 9 feet, making it the fifth-highest level ever recorded. Cedar Key, East Bay Tampa, Clearwater Beach and St. Petersburg, Florida, also saw record storms.

Thousands of people in the dark: As of early Thursday morning, about 143,000 Florida homes and businesses were without power. Another 112,000 outages occurred in Georgia, about 31,000 in South Carolina and about 20,000 in North Carolina, according to tracking website

Urging residents to stay in their homes: Florida officials are urging residents to avoid outdoors while cleanup and search efforts continue. Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett noted the dangers of falling trees and power lines.

boil water notice: Some areas of Florida’s DeSoto, Dixie, Leon, Levy, Marion, and Taylor counties are subject to boiling water guidelines issued by the state health department.

Some school districts will reopen: DeSantis said at least 30 of the 52 school districts that closed before the storm will reopen Thursday. Eight regions will reopen on Friday.

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