The National Weather Service has decided in a preliminary study that when Hurricane Idalia made landfall on the Florida coast on August 30,
the Category 3 hurricane brought a surge of sea water up to 12 feet above normally dry terrain.
Before the cyclone made landfall with 125 mph winds close to Keaton Beach, its speeds briefly hit 130 mph.
Idalia raised water levels by 7 to 12 feet along more than 33 miles of coast to the north and south of the center, according to a weather service survey team.
Idalia destroyed Gulf-front villages and damaged a wide swath of houses, businesses
and woods between the Gulf and southern Georgia. It was the first Category 3 storm to make landfall on the thinly populated coast in decades. Moody's RMS,
a subsidiary of Moody's Analytics and a global risk modeling organization, put the private insured losses from Idalia at a preliminary range of $3 billion to $5 billion.
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