A 100-year-old oak tree toppled over onto Ron DeSantis’ mansion in Tallahassee as Hurricane Idalia began its path of destruction across Florida.
The governor’s wife Casey DeSantis revealed the incident on X (formerly known as Twitter), saying she and her children were home at the time but no one was injured.
"Mason, Madison, Mamie and I were home at the time, but thankfully no one was injured," she said. "Our prayers are with everyone impacted by the storm."
"The storm" Ms DeSantis is referring to is Hurricane Idalia, which has since slowed to a Category 1 storm after making landfall in Big Bend as a Category 3 early on Wednesday.
Mr DeSantis was out of the house at the time coordinating with state and federal authorities in the wake of the hurricane.
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
He commented on the tree during a press briefing on Wednesday where he offered a slightly different version of events than his wife.
“I don’t know that it fell on like the residence, per se. I think it was a little bit off to the side,” he told reporters.
He said he was optimistic about the tree’s removal, according to Florida Politics.
“I don’t know if they’re going to have to cut down the whole tree,” Mr DeSantis said. “If they do cut down the whole tree, that’s just going to be more room for my kids to hit baseballs in. And so in some respects for us, even though the tree was nice, we’ll probably make do and just be quite all right.”
Mr DeSantis’ attention is likely elsewhere as Hurricane Idalia continues to batter the state.
The storm has already been linked to two confirmed deaths — two motorists who died in unrelated car accidents caused by the storm, according to Florida Highway Patrol officers — and has rendered some bridges and roadways impassable.
Hurricane Idalia made landfall Wednesday morning near Big Bend as a Category 3 hurricane, bringing winds and storm surge not seen in that part of the Gulf coast in more than 125 years, according to CNN.
Storm surges have inundated areas of Tampa and St Petersburg, and have caused waters in the Steinhatchee River near Big Bend to swell to more than nine feet.
Officials in western Florida are warning residents that just because the hurricane has passed not to take it as a sign of safety; forecasters believe a “king tide,” — and exceptionally high tide — may bring even more water inland Wednesday.