Hurricane Idalia struck Florida’s Big Bend region on Wednesday, on August 30 as an “extremely dangerous” Category 3 hurricane, compelling millions of residents to evacuate. Evacuation orders had been issued in at least 28 of Florida’s 67 counties by Tuesday night.
According to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), ‘Idalia’ made landfall on the Florida coast with winds reaching up to 205 km/h, with the eye of the cyclone touching down near Keaton Beach in the morning. Although it weakened to a Category 1 hurricane in Georgia and South Carolina, it still posed significant danger.
In Florida, two individuals lost their lives in weather-related crashes, as reported by the state Highway Patrol. These accidents occurred in Pasco and Alachua counties when drivers lost control of their vehicles and collided with trees. In Georgia, one individual lost their life after a tree fell on their vehicle.
More than 300,000 households across Florida to North Carolina were without power with estimates from 50,000 to 100,000 still without it in Florida. These power outages serve to expose the aging infrastructure of the country which is considered a “cost” to the bourgeois state.
Residents were again left to fend for themselves, not only because of the absence of meaningful measures and infrastructure to protect them, but because they could not afford even to cover the cost of buying fuel and food to move to safer areas.
While the cost of damages ranges from $9 billion to $20 billion, the Biden administration has requested $4 billion dollars for a relief fund, with a previously $12 billion dollar relief considered “too much”. This is characteristic of the logic of capitalism which draws bipartisan support for the shelling out of nearly $100 billion dollars to Ukraine.