Hurricane Idalia made landfall on Florida’s west coast as a Category 3 storm on Wednesday.

The storm has already caused life-threatening storm surges and rainfall in an area not accustomed to such storms.

Authorities have warned that residents should immediately move to their shelters or safe rooms. Unprecedented degrees of damage caused by the extreme 130 mp/h (210 km/h) winds and extreme storm surges are expected.

Idalia was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane by 11 am Eastern Standard Time, more than three hours after making landfall. The storm is the most powerful hurricane to strike the Big Bend area since 1896.

At least two men were killed in car crashes while attempting to flee before the hurricane made landfall. 270,000 Floridians lost power as a result of the high winds caused by the storm.

The NY Times quoted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as telling residents, “Don’t mess with this storm,” and warning them not to put themselves in jeopardy.

“It’s going to be a significant, significant impact.”

DeSantis declared a state of emergency and activated the Florida Disaster Fund to support communities impacted by the hurricane.

Christian Caban, a Leon County commissioner, said the storm would have “a lasting impact on surrounding communities.” He warned that the storm would cause down trees, blocked roads, power outages, flooding, and overall dangerous conditions.