A 100-year-old tree collapsed on the Florida governor's mansion during Idalia, Casey DeSantis says the family is fine

Casey DeSantis
Florida first lady Casey DeSantisMeg Kinnard/AP
  • Casey DeSantis said she and her kids were fine after a massive tree fell on the governor's mansion.

  • Florida's first lady said she was at home as Hurricane Idalia hammered North Florida.

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended presidential campaign as the state geared up for the storm.

Florida first lady Casey DeSantis said she and her children were fine after Hurricane Idalia collapsed a 100-year-old tree on the governor's mansion.

"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," DeSantis posted on her Twitter account.

Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended presidential campaigning as Floridians braced for the Category 3 hurricane.

DeSantis told reporters his wife had called him about the situation. His understanding was that it was a "really ancient oak tree" and he wasn't sure if the tree fell on the residence itself.

"I don't know if they are going to cut down the whole tree," DeSantis told reporters during a storm update. "If they do cut down the whole tree, that's just going to be more room for kids to hit baseballs in."

Idalia made landfall in Florida's "Big Bend" region, the strongest storm to hammer the area southeast of Tallahassee in recent memory. As the Associated Press pointed out, the area is known for fishing and alligators, not massive storms or the tourist-centric locales that populate other parts of the state. Before it made landfall, Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey warned that Idalia would be the fiercest storm to hit the state capital in its history.

FEMA director Deanne Criswell told reporters at the White House that President Joe Biden spoke to DeSantis and offered the federal government's assistance.

The Florida governor's mansion was first built on its current grounds in 1907, according to a state website devoted to its history. The current residence was built in 1956 after the other structure was ruled unsound during Gov. LeRoy Collins' term in office. The mansion's central portico was built to resemble Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson's home near Nashville. Before he rose to the presidency, Jackson was briefly the first US leader, as military governor, of the then-Florida Territory in 1821. Florida became the 27th state in 1845.

A spokesperson for DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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