100-year-old oak tree falls on DeSantis’ mansion

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — The strong winds from Hurricane Idalia caused a 100-year-old oak tree to fall on the Florida governor’s mansion in Tallahassee Wednesday morning.

While Gov. Ron DeSantis was giving an update on the devastation left behind by Idalia, he reassured everyone that he, his wife, and three children were “fine.”

DeSantis’ wife, Casey DeSantis, posted a photo of the giant oak tree, saying, “thankfully, no one was injured.”

“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,” she wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

A tree service worker prepares to cut down an tree that fell in front of the Governor’s Mansion in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia in Tallahassee, Fla., Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

During the press conference, the governor said his wife had just called him, telling him about the incident.

“We’re fine. In fact, [Casey] called me about 45 minutes ago and told me, this is a really, I guess, ancient oak tree split in half and part of it fell. I don’t know that it fell on the residence per se, I think it was a little bit off to the side, so that’s going to have to be cleared,” DeSantis said.

“I don’t know if they’re going to have to cut down the whole tree; if they do cut down the whole tree, that’s just going to be more room for my kids to hit baseballs in. So in some respects, even though the tree was nice, we’ll make do and be quite alright.”

According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Idalia made landfall as a Category 3 storm near Keaton Beach, Florida, on Wednesday morning. The NHC said Idalia is bringing catastrophic storm surge and destructive winds to Florida’s Big Bend.

President Joe Biden called Gov. DeSantis to let him know federal support will be available to deal with destruction from Hurricane Idalia, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

DeSantis, the Republican governor and presidential candidate, indicated that the state’s needs were being met, Deanne Criswell, head of FEMA, told reporters during Wednesday’s White House briefing.

Criswell was with Biden when he phoned DeSantis, and the president stressed that over 1,500 federal personnel were in the area to assist with any response or rescue effort.

Biden also called the governors of Georgia and North and South Carolina to pledge federal support.

Idalia was later downgraded to a tropical storm as it passed over Georgia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 100-year-old oak tree falls on DeSantis’ mansion

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