As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to plummet in the polls for the 2024 Republican presidential primary, the beleaguered politician faces yet another adversary — a centenarian oak tree, which crashed into the Florida governor’s mansion on Wednesday after being struck down by Hurricane Idalia.
“100 year old oak tree falls on the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee — Mason, Madison, Mamie and I were home at the time, but thankfully no one was injured,” Casey DeSantis X’d with an accompanying picture of the damage. “Our prayers are with everyone impacted by the storm.”
Hurricane Idalia, which began as a tropical storm over the Gulf of Mexico, escalated to a Category 2 hurricane, boasting winds of up to 100 mph as reported by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The storm made its presence known on land around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday near Keaton Beach, situated roughly 75 miles southwest of Tallahassee. This storm’s rapid intensification saw it evolve into a Category 3 and even momentarily touching Category 4 status, with wind speeds reaching a staggering 130 mph, as per CBS News. The NHC’s classification for a Category 3 storm warns of impending “devastating damage.”
By late Wednesday morning, the storm’s intensity receded to Category 2 and further dwindled to Category 1 by 5 p.m., with wind speeds reducing to 70 mph. Gov. DeSantis has since declared that both Tampa and Tallahassee airports are set to resume full operations by Thursday, with the Gainesville airport reopening Wednesday evening.
Florida bore the brunt of the tempest’s wrath throughout the first half of Wednesday. The NHC noted a surge in water levels, rising to 6.8 feet above the “mean higher high water” in Florida’s Big Bend region. CBS News highlighted that storm surges in certain state areas were anticipated to reach an alarming 16 feet. The hurricane’s potent winds scattered debris across streets and properties as evident from various photographs.
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