Tropical Storm Elsa expected to strengthen into hurricane; 33 FL. counties under state of emergency
Tropical Storm Elsa could become a hurricane by the time it hits landfall. Credit: National Hurricane Center
As tropical storm Elsa approaches Florida’s West Coast, the National Hurricane Center projects that the storm will strengthen to a hurricane.
“Elsa is forecast to become a hurricane before making landfall,” DeSantis said at press conference Tuesday evening about the impending storm. He noted that Elsa will likely impact the Tampa Bay area late Tuesday evening and make landfall Wednesday morning in the Big Bend area.
At the National Hurricane Center, “Elsa expected to become a hurricane before landfall over the Northern Gulf Coast.”
DeSantis expanded an executive order Tuesday declaring a state of emergency to include several counties from the Northeast Florida area, while also removing Franklin County from the list. Miami-Dade, DeSoto, and Hardee counties are also no longer considered under a state of emergency.
The 33 counties currently under a state of emergency are: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Dixie, Duval, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lake, Lafayette, Lee, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Monroe, Nassau, Pasco, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union and Wakulla.
Earlier Tuesday, DeSantis placed Florida on a Level One readiness alert preparing for the storms arrival, meaning full-scale activation of state and local emergency response agencies and round-the-clock staffing of the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.
“It’s important for Floridians to have weather alerts turned on — on your phone, in your home — as you continue to monitor the conditions in the area,” he said. “Please heed any types of warnings from your local officials”
DeSantis described a number of weather advisories that Floridians should be aware of depending on their location in the state, such as hurricane warnings, tropical storm warnings, tornado watch, and flash flood risks.
The National Hurricane Center notes that “Hurricane conditions are expected tonight and early Wednesday along a portion of the west coast of Florida, where a hurricane warning is in effect.” There is also a danger of “life-threatening storm surge” along Florida’s west coast Tuesday evening through Wednesday.
The storm is expected to move up the East Coast later in the week after it passes through Florida.
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