Tropical Storm Elsa maintained its strength overnight and is currently approaching the southern coast of Cuba. Warnings and surveillance are issued on the west coast of Florida. The National Hurricane Center stated in a notice issued at 11 a.m. that the system is located about 140 miles south-southeast of Havana, Cuba. The northwest wind speed is 14 mph, and the continuous wind speed is 65 mph. NHC expanded the Florida tropical storm warning to include the Suwannee River area including Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast from Flamingo to Englewood, and the Florida Keys from Craig Key.
Tropical storm observations on the west coast of Florida from Englewood to the Osila River near Tallahassee have been extended to the Indian Pass near the coast of the Florida Peninsula. The Cuban government has ceased all surveillance and warnings in Camaguey Province and maintained hurricane warnings in Cienfuegos and Matanzas Provinces, CNH included in the report. The system’s predicted trajectory moved it’s center close to Key West and dry turtles on Tuesday morning, and then reached the Gulf of Mexico near the west coast of Florida throughout Tuesday. When it passes Tampa on Tuesday night or early Wednesday, its path is expected to turn to the Florida coast and it is expected to land near the mouth of the Suwannee River before noon on Wednesday.
Lake and Marion’s counties are still the most likely to experience strong tropical storm winds, 70 miles from downtown Elsa. Elsa’s forward movement has slowed since Sunday, and she is expected to land in Cuba later today. “It may weaken a bit today because it interacts with the land, which may exist for a short time soon. Because it will become stronger again in the southeast of the Gulf of Mexico,” McCann said. Rainfall from its outer zone may have begun to affect South Florida today. NHC predicts that as of Wednesday, parts of the Florida Keys, the Florida Peninsula, and coastal areas will be 2 to 4 inches, with some pockets up to 6 inches. On Sunday night, President Biden approved Florida’s emergency declaration and ordered federal assistance to supplement the state, tribe, and local response to the emergency caused by Tropical Storm Elsa.
The White House said in a statement: “The President’s actions authorized the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts aimed at alleviating difficulties. The necessary emergency measures authorized by Chapter 5 of the Tafford Act provide sufficient assistance to save lives and protect property and public health and safety, and to mitigate or avoid disaster threats in Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, and De Soto, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties.”
NHC said that last Sunday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the Florida storm The tide has entered a state of emergency, and some areas of the Florida coast are expected to be threatened with a slight flood of 2 to 4 feet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration maintains real-time water level data to track threats. By Sunday, the Cuban authorities had evacuated 180,000 people to prevent the storm from hitting several Caribbean islands, killing at least three people and preventing possible serious flooding.
Most of the evacuees lived with relatives, others went to government shelters, and hundreds of mountain residents took refuge in caves prepared for emergencies.