Venice Beach, Florida — Tropical Cyclone Elsa intensified into a Category 1 hurricane on Tuesday, hours before it was expected to land on the Gulf Coast in northern Florida.
Elsa’s center is about 100 miles (165 km) south-southwest of Tampa, Florida, traveling north at about 9 miles per hour (15 km / h), with a maximum sustained wind speed of 75 miles (120 km) per hour. The NHC stated in a recommendation at 8 pm (0000 GMT on Wednesday).
Hurricane surveillance took place from Egmontkey in the Tampa Bay area to the Steinhatchie River, about 180 miles north along the Gulf Coast, with Elsa scheduled to land Wednesday morning. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the storm is expected to land around the Tampa Bay area between 8 am and 9 am EST (1200-1300 EST).
The sky was gray, but on Tuesday afternoon, the condition of Venice Beach, about 70 miles south of Tampa, was dry.
Michelle and Amador Diaz came from Albuquerque to celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary and enjoyed a walk along the beach.
“We are not afraid of storms,” said Amador Diaz. “I want this more than the sun comes out.”
After landing, the storm is projected to travel north-northeast in the southeastern United States until Thursday, with 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) of rain across the Florida Peninsula.
According to the NHC, tornadoes could occur across Florida on Tuesday and in the lowlands of northern Florida, southeastern Georgia, and South Carolina on Wednesday.
Strong winds and rain struck Key West on Tuesday morning, flooding the streets as the storm passed offshore.
The storm could impede search and rescue operations at the site of a collapsed condominium on the surfside near Miami. There, the crew sifts the rubble for 12 days in the hope of finding a survivor. As of Tuesday, 36 people were confirmed dead and 109 were still missing, said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniela Levinekaba.
Water replenished in Cuba
Further south, the Cubans sighed relief as Elsa seemed to do little damage, but actually helped to replenish the reservoir.
Havana, the capital, woke up to a cloudy sky after a rainy night, but on Tuesday there was no major flood or damage. Cubans returned to the streets after authorities lifted the tropical cyclone warning, but some parts of the country were set to continue heavy rains.
“It’s good that Elsa didn’t do much damage because of the very complex situation with the coronavirus and the current hurricane,” said retired teacher Susana Perez, amid a widespread shortage of goods in Cuba. (68) said in line.
Temporarily intensified in the first hurricane of the season last week, Elsa caused at least three deaths and damage to infrastructure and agriculture in the Caribbean island nation of eastern Cuba.
According to government officials, the provisional damage was more than $ 12 million in Saint Lucia and more than $ 5.3 million in Jamaica.