A 100-year-old oak tree fell onto Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Governor’s Mansion on Wednesday due to the strong winds from Hurricane Idalia.
First Lady of Florida Casey DeSantis tweeted a photograph of the split-in-half tree that was knocked over onto the mansion’s roof. Casey, along with her three children — Mason, Madison and Mamie — were home at the time, and suffered no injuries.
“100 year old oak tree falls on the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee — Mason, Madison, Mamie and I were home at the time, but thankfully no one was injured,” Casey wrote. “Our prayers are with everyone impacted by the storm.”
100 year old oak tree falls on the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee — Mason, Madison, Mamie and I were home at the time, but thankfully no one was injured.
Our prayers are with everyone impacted by the storm. pic.twitter.com/l6MOE8wNMC
— Casey DeSantis (@CaseyDeSantis) August 30, 2023
Hurricane Idalia intensified into a tropical storm over the Gulf of Mexico early Tuesday and developed into a Category 2 as it reached 100 mph maximum sustained winds, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The storm reached landfall at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday morning near Keaton Beach, about 75 miles southwest of Tallahassee. (RELATED: Stunning Satellite Video Captures Tropical Storm Idalia Gaining Strength)
The storm reached landfall after developing into a Category 3 overnight and briefly reached Category 4 as maximum sustained winds rose to 130 mph, according to CBS News. A Category 3 storm indicates that “devastating damage will occur” according to the NHC.
The storm decreased to Category 2 in the late morning Wednesday and eventually made its way down to Category 1 as the maximum sustained winds went down to 70 mph as of 5 p.m., according to the NHC. DeSantis announced that Tampa and Tallahassee airports will fully reopen Thursday and the Gainesville airport will open Wednesday night.
The storm caused major destruction and flooding throughout Florida in the first half of Wednesday. Water levels increased to 6.8 feet above “mean higher high water” in Florida’s Big Bend region, according to the NHC. The storm surge was expected to reach up to 16 feet in some areas of the state, CBS News reported.
The strong winds caused debris to scatter across the streets and properties, according to photographs.