As Floridians hold onto hope that more survivors will be found in the wake of a condominium collapse in Surfside, a new threat has emerged in the form of a tropical storm set to hit the state’s coasts this week.
According to Breitbart, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a state of emergency in the Sunshine State on Saturday as Tropical Storm Elsa, previously classified as a hurricane, continued making its way across the Caribbean.
“While we continue to provide resources to support the response at Surfside, impacts from Elsa will begin affecting the Florida Keys and portions of southern Florida as early as Monday,” the governor said in a statement.
“All Floridians in the potential path of this storm need to prepare for the risk of isolated tornadoes, storm surge, heavy rainfall, and flash flooding,” he added.
A press release put out by the governor’s office explained that DeSantis’ declaration ensures “state and local governments have ample time, resources and flexibility to prepare.”
“The severity and track of Tropical Storm Elsa remains uncertain,” it added. “The State Emergency Operations Center activated to a Level 2 this morning, enhancing the coordination between federal, state and local emergency management agencies.”
The release went on to note that the governor’s declaration would apply to Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties. The governor added additional counties to the list Monday afternoon.
The storm has already taken multiple lives, including at least one person on the island of St. Lucia, according to the Associated Press.
Two additional fatalities, a 15-year-old boy and a 79-year-old woman, were reported in the Dominican Republic on Saturday.
Georgia, Carolinas to be hit later this week
Fox News reported early Monday that Elsa was expected to spend much of the day lingering over Cuba before making its way to the United States, with landfall in the Florida Keys expected by Tuesday.
The network projected that Elsa will spend a day moving up the state’s Gulf Coast before moving inland somewhere around Tampa late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning.
From there, it is believed the storm will follow a northeasterly coast over the remainder of the week, reaching Georgia and the Carolinas by Wednesday or Thursday.