Pictures of Idalia’s aftermath in Georgia, Carolinas show damage and flooding from hurricane’s storm surge

Pictures of Idalia’s aftermath in Georgia, Carolinas show damage and flooding from hurricane’s storm surge


Tropical Storm Idalia was moving east off North Carolina late Thursday morning, but pictures of the powerful weather system’s aftermath show communities down the coast, including in and around major cities like Charleston and Savannah, were still dealing with the damage left in its wake. 

Idalia made landfall along the Big Bend region of Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a dangerous Category 3 hurricane, but was downgraded by the evening to a tropical storm as wind speeds decreased and Idalia moved into Georgia and South Carolina. Towns and small cities in Florida’s Big Bend, where the peninsula meets the panhandle, felt the brunt of Idalia’s destruction. Photos and videos continued to surface Thursday of collapsed homes and buildings, downed trees and flooded roads in a number of areas, from Tampa Bay up to Tallahassee.

As crews worked to restore widespread electrical outages caused by Idalia, more than 83,000 customers in Georgia and close to 94,000 customers in Florida were still without power on Thursday afternoon, according to the tracking website

Damage in Valdosta, Georgia

Hurricane and tropical storm warnings, as well as storm surge watches, were issued across a vast section of the U.S. East Coast as Georgia and the Carolinas braced for Idalia’s arrival. Shortly after it made landfall Wednesday morning near Keaton Beach in Florida, meteorologists warned that “damaging winds” had already begun to spread into southern Georgia. By 11 a.m. ET, the center of the storm had crossed into Georgia, the National Hurricane Center said. 

In Valdosta, a city just over the Florida-Georgia border, a man was killed by a falling tree Wednesday afternoon while trying to clear another downed tree from a road, Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Polk confirmed. Video footage shared online showed strong winds and heavy rain hitting the area earlier in the morning.

Hurricane Idalia hits Valdosta, Georgia
A view shows heavy rains, caused by Hurricane Idalia, in Valdosta, Georgia, U.S. August 30, 2023, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video.

Caroline via REUTERS

One video clip filmed by Chelsey Webb, a Valdosta resident, from her southern Georgia home showed a downed basketball net and scattered branches in a yard as surrounding trees swayed in gusty wind.

Screenshots from video footage by Chelsey Webb, who said she filmed it from her home in Valdosta on Wednesday morning, Aug. 30.

Chelsey Webb via Storyful

Debris in Savannah

Savannah was closed down on Wednesday and placed under a local state of emergency, with tornado watches and warnings in effect. Although no curfew was issued, Mayor Van Johnson urged people to stay off of city streets as Idalia continued its northern track toward the populous metro center during a news conference that morning. 

Savannah dodged the worst of the storm, but powerful wind gusts and heavy rain caused power outages and left down trees along with other debris scattered across the city, CBS affiliate WTOC-TV reported.

A large tree and street light pole toppled over in a residential part of Savannah, Georgia, when Idalia moved through the area as a tropical storm on Wednesday. No homes were hit.


Flooding in Charleston and Isle of Palms, South Carolina

By 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday night, Idalia crossed Georgia’s northern border into South Carolina, the weather service said. Around that time, Isle of Palms, a barrier island off the coast of Charleston, was experiencing significant flooding caused by the tropical storm. 

Aftermath of Hurricane Idalia in Isle of Palms, South Carolina
A view shows a flooded road on 41st Avenue at Waterway Blvd, Isle of Palms, South Carolina, U.S. August 30, 2023, in this screen grab obtained from a handout video.


At around 7:30 p.m., the Isle of Palms Police Department tweeted a video of flooding spread across a large intersection on the island, warning people to avoid the area.

“41st Avenue at Waterway Blvd has deep standing water. Avoid the area,” the department said. 

Later, Isle of Palms police tweeted another video of unusually high tides washing up and over the width of the beach.

“The scene on the beach has changed quickly. Large waves, high winds, and the water lines is into the dunes,” the tweet read. “We are still an hour and a half away from high tide. Please stay out the water, do not put first responders at unnecessary risk.”

The police department said Thursday that beach erosion and cleanup efforts were underway on Isle of Palms, roads previously closed for Idalia had been reopened and damage assessment teams had been dispatched to evaluate the area in the storm’s aftermath.

Slightly inland, city streets in Charleston were also inundated with water on Wednesday. Videos tweeted by the social media user @KathleenCuller showed roadways and vehicles partially submerged as Idalia brought flooding to the downtown area around high tide.

Flooding from Idalia also inundated streets in McClellanville, about 40 miles north of Charleston along the South Carolina coast. The National Weather Service in Charleston tweeted an image Wednesday, originally shared by the Awendaw-McClellanville Fire District, which showed roads blanketed by an estimated two or three feet of water.

Downed trees and power lines in Beaufort, South Carolina

South of Charleston in Beaufort, another coastal city, authorities said Wednesday that they had received multiple reports from locals of downed trees and power lines in the area, in addition to thousands of power outages. Beaufort was under a tropical storm warning on Wednesday evening while storm surge and flood warnings were in effect, as well as a tornado watch.

“We continue to urge you to stay off the roads as rain and wind gusts are expected to continue into the night,” the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post shared at around 7 p.m. ET, which noted that several area roads had standing water.

Our Communications Center has received several storm related calls so far today.

In the area of Old Miller Road in…

Posted by Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Possible tornado damage near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

“This home in Cherry Grove/Little River/NMB area lost its roof as the tornadic storm moved over the area. This is believed to be tornado damage. NWS will conduct a survey to confirm it,” WBTV News meteorologist Scotty Powell tweeted Wednesday, alongside an image of a residential structure with what appears to be a collapsed and splintering roof.


Claire Purnell/WBTW News via X



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