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More than 200,000 Florida residents are without power

More than half live in 14 northern counties.
 
Damage along Florida's Horseshoe Beach in the Big Bend area after Hurricane Idalia. Hundreds of thousands of Florida residents are without power after Hurricane Idalia swept through parts of Florida on Wednesday
Damage along Florida's Horseshoe Beach in the Big Bend area after Hurricane Idalia. Hundreds of thousands of Florida residents are without power after Hurricane Idalia swept through parts of Florida on Wednesday [ MAX CHESNES, MAX CHESNES | Times ]
Published Aug. 30, 2023|Updated Aug. 30, 2023

Hundreds of thousands of Florida residents are without power after Hurricane Idalia swept through parts of Florida on Wednesday. Counties to the north and in the state’s Big Bend have the highest rates of outages, a Tampa Bay Times analysis shows.

As of 6:30 p.m., 97% of customers in Taylor County, where the storm made landfall, had reported power outages. Nearby Suwannee, Madison and Jefferson counties also had outage rates around 100%, according to data from the site, PowerOutage.us.

The rate of lost power in Taylor County spiked around 5 a.m., with nearly 3,000 outages reported in the hours before the storm made landfall. Surrounding counties followed suit through the morning.

Outages remained plentiful as the day went on. By the evening, there were still almost 220,000 outages across the state. Nearly 177,000 of them were in 14 northern counties close to Idalia’s path – amounting to about 80%.

Thousands of Tampa Bay residents also lost electricity after the storm brought tropical winds and severe flooding to the area. But compared to the total number of customers tracked, the proportion of those without power is much lower than those that experienced a direct hit.

As of Wednesday afternoon, most customers tracked in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties had regained power, data shows.