- The Florida Gulf was receiving a tropical cyclone warning on Monday in anticipation of Elsa.
- An estimated 180,000 Cubans were displaced on their way to the island.
- Elsa is then projected to move near or above parts of Florida’s west coast on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The National Weather Service issued a tropical cyclone warning north to Tampa Bay on the Gulf Coast on Monday as Elsa landed in Cuba on the road to Sunshine.
According to the National Meteorological Service, Elsa landed around 2 pm Eastern Standard Time. The storm was expected to travel the Midwest of Cuba for the next few hours, to the Florida Strait tonight, and pass near the Florida Keys early Tuesday. Elsa is projected to move near or above parts of Florida’s west coast on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
About 180,000 Cubans have been displaced. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in 15 counties.
“All Floridians need to be prepared for the possibility of heavy rains, floods and power outages,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter. “It’s time to restock and consider a hurricane plan.”
Heavy rains and strong winds began to hit parts of South Florida on Monday afternoon.
According to Miami University hurricane researcher Brian McNordi, Elsa was the earliest and fifth-named storm on record, breaking the record as the fastest-moving hurricane in the tropics at 31 mph on Saturday morning. It states that it has occurred.
Miami-Dade County is home to the Champlain Towers South Condominium Complex, which partially collapsed last month. Authorities demolished the rest of the building on Sunday, fearing the storm would hit the building on the ground. The tragic death toll increased to 28 on Monday, with 117 still missing.
DeSantis said on Monday that Miami-Dade would be removed from the list of states of emergency, citing the latest predictions that the storm would have a major impact on the state’s Gulf Coast.
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Until Wednesday, up to 4 inches of rain is expected in parts of Florida and the coast of Georgia, with a maximum of 6 inches. According to the Meteorological Bureau, it can cause isolated flushes, floods of cities and minor rivers. Several tornadoes can occur across South Florida on Monday night and across the Florida Peninsula on Tuesday.
Storm surges of up to 4 feet are predicted in some areas.
Elsa returned to a tropical cyclone after intensifying to the first hurricane of the season late last week. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm was 115 mph south of Key West as of 8 pm EDT Monday, with a continuous wind of 50 mph.
Elsa was accused of killing at least three people when she cleared the Caribbean Sea. A 15-year-old boy and a 75-year-old woman died in separate incidents after one person died in Saint Lucia and a wall collapsed in the Dominican Republic, according to the Caribbean Emergency Management Agency. Statement from the Emergency Operations Center.
Barbados was hit hard and more than 1,100 people reported damage to their homes, including 62 collapsed homes.
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On Monday afternoon, the storm concentrated southeast of Havana and headed northwest at 14 mph. AccuWeather meteorologist Thomas Geiger predicted that Elsa would slide south of Cuba, then turn north, and travel briefly over the island. He said a small shift would cause Elsa to move northwest over Cuba for a longer period of time.
According to breaking news from the Meteorological Bureau, some parts of Cuba on Monday were expected to rain 5 to 10 inches, with a maximum of 15 inches.
“This will result in serious flash floods and landslides,” the report said.
Elsa is projected to weaken as she moves to the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday after crossing Cuba, and will retain most of the US damage contained in the western part of Florida, Geiger said.
Contributed by: Rick Neale, Florida Today; Associate
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