After blasting through the eastern Caribbean over the weekend, killing at least three people, Tropical Storm Elsa was nearing landfall in western Cuba as of Monday morning.
As of 8 a.m. EDT on Monday, Elsa’s sustained winds were 65 mph, with higher gusts. The storm could become stronger just prior to landfall in Cuba late Monday morning or early afternoon. However, it’s unlikely Elsa will become a hurricane again.
After moving across Cuba, Elsa should then weaken again before slipping just west of Key West Monday night. It looks like Elsa won’t make a direct hit in the Florida Keys, but portions of southern Florida will still get battered by strong winds, heavy rain and some storm surge. Power outages and flooding are possible.
The National Hurricane Center expects Elsa to brush by the western coast of the Florida Peninsula on Tuesday night, followed by northeastern Florida, southern Georgia and the Carolinas. (For more details, watch the forecast video below.)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Saturday for the following counties: DeSoto, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pinellas, Pasco and Sarasota.
The U.S. Coast Guard has set strict port restrictions at the Port of Key West. Until further notice, no vessels may enter to transit within the port without permission of the captain of the port, and all ship-to-shore operations must stop. Looser restrictions are in place for the ports of Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Manatee.
You might also like: