Hurricane Idalia left a path of destruction in areas of Florida normally not impacted by a hurricane, leaving a trail of destruction on Wednesday in Florida before losing power as it moved inland through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
Although the Idalia might become one of the US’s costliest hurricanes, fortunately, it appears to have had a minimal impact on cell tower communications.
According to this afternoon’s FCC status report, of the counties in the designated areas impacted by the hurricane, totaling 6,313 in Florida, only 2.2% of cell sites were down. Of those 140 sites, only ten were due to damage. Cell sites that were up, but on backup power totaled 133.
South Carolina only had 17 cell sites out, representing less than one percent of its 1,955. Today, the FCC partially deactivated many Florida and South Carolina counties for future reporting.
In an afternoon update, Verizon said almost all of its sites in North Florida were fully restored, and those sites have nearby towers providing overlapping coverage.
In South Carolina, they said fiber repairs have restored most cell sites.
Governor Ron DeSantis said on Thursday that restoring power and clearing debris would be a key priority throughout Friday. There are also concerns over flesh-eating bacteria and other health risks in the state, local officials said.