Elsa picks up steam as Florida declares state of emergency

·2 min read

Tropical Storm Elsa picked up steam on Tuesday morning while it battered the Florida Keys and parts of Cuba as Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in multiple counties.

Heavy winds and rainfall were observed in the southernmost point of the Sunshine State, and flash flooding remains a threat, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center. Elsa's winds peaked at 60 mph over Key West, and it is expected to strengthen as it moves toward central and northern Florida in the coming days.

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“Begin your preparations now ... be prepared to be without power for a few days and having enough food and water for each person and their family, including for your pets," DeSantis said during a Tuesday morning press conference, adding that he doesn't "anticipate any widespread evacuations as a result of this storm."

On Monday, the Sunshine State declared a state of emergency in Alachua, Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Hamilton, Gilchrist, Jefferson, Lake, Lafayette, Madison, Marion, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, and Wakulla counties. DeSoto, Hardee, and Miami-Dade counties, which were initially included on the list, were removed after Elsa projected track shifted.

Miami-Dade County is home to Champlain Towers South, the Surfside condominium complex that partially collapsed last month, leaving at least 32 dead and over 117 missing. Officials anticipated Elsa, which at one point was classified as a Category 1 hurricane, would hamper rescue efforts near the pile of rubble, and the decision was made to demolish the standing portion of the building prior to the storm's landfall.

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Elsa is expected to batter Central and Northern Florida between Tuesday and Wednesday before it's projected to make its way through Georgia and South Carolina. The storm previously displaced over 180,000 Cubans who were evacuated from their homes due to threats of dangerous storm surges.

Elsa is the first hurricane of the Atlantic season. It passed through the Dominican Republic and several eastern Caribbean islands before it reached Florida.

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Tags: News, Weather, Florida, Storm, Cuba, Miami Condo Collapse, Ron DeSantis

Original Author: Jake Dima

Original Location: Elsa picks up steam as Florida declares state of emergency

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