Greece native living in Florida talks about riding out Hurricane Idalia

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Just as predicted, Hurricane Idalia slammed into the sparsely populated Big Bend region of Florida just before eight this morning. The storm left a trail of destruction stretching well into parts of southern Georgia.

News10NBC talked to a Greece native, now living in Clearwater, Florida about how he rode out the storm. Joe Agostinelli is weathering his third major hurricane since moving to Florida in 2017. He chose to stay home instead of evacuating.

Video shot by Agostinelli showed high winds and heavy downpours drenched the Clearwater area of Florida for much of the night from the hurricane’s outer bands. The storm skirted much of the state’s gulf coast. More than 400K people are reported to be without power right now in both Florida and Georgia.

Agostinelli lives about three hours south of where category 3 Idalia made landfall and so far, has no property damage. He says in the past, both he and his family evacuated from their home for Hurricanes Irma and Ian. This time around he chose to stay at home since his area was not in the storm’s path. He gave us a quick update on current conditions after dealing with a 16-foot storm surge.

“Lots of flooding around the area. Lots of streets closed. Access to you know what we call barrier islands, but it’s your beaches. So, it’s Clearwater Beach, St. Pete’s beach are closed right now and that was the biggest thing with this is the storm surge.”

Agostinelli said schools in his community were turned into temporary shelters that are still open for anyone who needs a place to go Wednesday night.