AP News Summary at 6:19 a.m. EDT | National


Idalia projected to hit Florida as Category 4 hurricane with ‘catastrophic’ storm surge

CEDAR KEY, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Idalia strengthened to a dangerous Category 4 storm Wednesday morning as it steams toward Florida’s Big Bend region and threatens to unleash life-threatening storm surges and rainfall. Authorities are warning of a “catastrophic storm surge and destructive winds” when Idalia hits Florida. Residents in vulnerable coastal areas had been ordered to pack up and leave as the storm gained steam in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday. Idalia was packing sustained winds of 120 mph early Wednesday. The hurricane was projected to come ashore later Wednesday morning as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of at least 130 mph in the lightly populated Big Bend region, where the Florida Panhandle curves into the peninsula.

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