GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida is adjusting its travel plans for their season opener against No. 14 Utah on Thursday night in order to avoid Tropical Storm Idalia.
A spokesman for the team announced on Monday that the Gators will fly to Dallas on Tuesday, where they will practice and spend the night, before traveling to Salt Lake City on Wednesday. Initially, Coach Billy Napier’s team had planned to fly directly from Gainesville to Utah on Wednesday.
Tropical Storm Idalia is projected to bring hurricane-force winds to Florida as early as late Tuesday and make landfall on the west coast of the state by Wednesday. This is the first storm of the hurricane season to hit Florida, and could cause significant damage, especially in areas still recovering from last year’s Hurricane Ian.
Idalia strengthened on Monday and is predicted to reach major hurricane status in the coming days, bringing potentially life-threatening storm surges.
Prior to affecting Florida, Idalia brought heavy rain to Cuba, particularly in the western part of the island where the province of Pinar del Rio is still trying to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian. Meteorological stations in Cuba reported up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) of rain on Sunday.