A western shift and wind shear appear to have spared the Tampa Bay area more significant impacts from Elsa, which weakened back to a tropical storm shortly before passing the region.
Tropical Storm Elsa was making landfall in the Cedar Key area with 65 mph sustained winds, according to the 11 a.m. National Hurricane Center update.
Wednesday mid-morning, its tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 90 miles from the center. It was headed north at 14 mph and was about 65 miles north-northwest of Cedar Key and about 115 miles west-southwest of Jacksonville.
Thousands of customers were without power in the Tampa Bay area Wednesday morning, and the area was still under a tropical storm warning and storm surge warning.
The last remaining hurricane warning was downgraded to a tropical storm warning, and the storm surge watch for Florida’s Gulf Coast was cancelled. All watches warnings for the southern end of the state were called off.
The latest track projection shows Elsa holding on to tropical storm strength as it traveled inland toward Jacksonville, through Georgia and the Carolinas and then scrapes along the northeast coast from Delaware to Massachusetts.