A storm Heavy rains and winds have hit the Caribbean Sea and the Florida Keys and have complicated the search for survivors in the deadly apartment collapse, which has intensified into a hurricane.
The National Weather Service said on Tuesday Hurricane Elsa When it rushed towards the Gulf Coast of northern Florida, wind speeds were as high as 75 mph (121 km/h). The Category 1 storm is expected to make landfall between 8 am and 9 am on Wednesday, between the Tampa Bay area and the Big Bend area.
In addition to destructive winds and heavy rain, the National Hurricane Center in Miami also warned of life-threatening storm surges, floods and isolated tornadoes. Hurricane warnings have been issued for the long coastline from Egmont Key at the mouth of Tampa Bay to the Stan Hatch River in the Big Bend area of Florida. Landing is expected to be somewhere in between.
The death toll from the collapse of a Florida apartment rose to 36 due to the threat of severe weather.
Experts say that the Tampa area is very vulnerable to storm surges because the offshore waters and Tampa Bay are very shallow. Governor Ron DeSantis (Ron DeSantis) said the area will be hit hard by the storm overnight.
DeSantis said at a press conference on Tuesday that this is “not the time for a drive” because “we do have a dangerous situation.” He said the storm is expected to make landfall between 8 am and 9 am on Wednesday.
Despite this, in the Barrier Island beach town on the Gulf of Mexico, there were almost no shutters or plywood raised early on Tuesday, and everything is business as usual. Free sandbags were distributed at several locations, and a limited number of storm shelters were opened in at least four counties around the Tampa Bay area on Tuesday morning, but no evacuation was ordered.
The Surfside apartment collapsed: the death toll reached 32, as the storm Elsa approached, restoration work is underway
Nancy Brindley, 85, lives in a seaside house built in 1923. She said that she had experienced 34 tropical cyclones before and did not have shutters on the windows. Her main concern is what happens to the sand on the adjacent beach and the dunes that protect her house and others. She will survive the storm.
“The main problem here is that if it doesn’t speed up and decides to stop, it will cause huge erosion,” she said.
47-year-old friends Chris Wirtz and 44-year-old Brendan Peregrine live with their family in a beach hotel. Both are from Tampa, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) across the bay, and have experienced storms many times.
“Before we left, we knew it would come,” Wiertz said.
The others did not take risks. 51-year-old Anne Jones has lived on the Gulf Coast all her life. Before the storm, she was buying ice and food at a local grocery store.
“For many years, I have seen this happen, and I decided to load,” Jones said.
In the Tampa Bay area, which has a population of about 3.5 million, events, government offices and schools were closed early on Tuesday before the storm.Tampa International Airport closes at 5pm
Duke Energy, the major power company in the Tampa Bay area, said in a statement that it has approximately 3,000 employees, contractors, tree experts, and support personnel preparing for the outage after the storm. Duke Energy is bringing in additional staff from other states. “We have been trained and prepared, and we want to ensure the safety of our customers and be prepared for any impact from the storm,” said Todd Fountain, the utility company’s Florida storm director.
Tampa Mayor Jane Custer said that the fifth game of the Stanley Cup final between the Tampa Bay Chargers and the Montreal Canadiens will be held on Wednesday night. The Chargers lead the NHL championship series 3-1 and may win the championship with a victory.
The rainband reached Surfside on the Atlantic coast of Florida and soaked the rubble of South Champlain Tower, which collapsed on June 24, killing at least 36 people. Officials said that search and rescue personnel worked in the rain to find more than 100 other people who were unaccounted for, even though lightning forced rescuers to suspend work for two hours earlier on Tuesday.
Its core is located approximately 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Tampa. According to the National Hurricane Center, it continues to move northward at a speed of 14 mph (approximately 23 km/h).
DeSantis expanded the state of emergency to 33 counties.
Tropical Storm Elsa approaches Florida governor to issue state of emergency
After Florida, forecasters predicted that Elsa would hit the coastal areas of Georgia and South Carolina, some of which were under tropical storm surveillance.
Elsa’s westward movement kept the lower Florida Keys from being directly attacked, but there was still plenty of rain and wind on these islands on Tuesday.
Cuban officials evacuated 180,000 people in case the storm has hit several Caribbean islands and killed at least three people.
Brian McNaughty, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, said that Elsa was the first fifth storm on record.
Frisaro is from Fort Lauderdale.
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