The tropical storm Elsa, which made landfall Wednesday in Taylor County, northwest Florida, weakened again when lowering its maximum sustained winds to 45 mph (75 mph), but drags strong gusts of wind and rain on their advance through southern Georgia, meteorologists reported. Elsa is 75 miles (120 km) west of Brunswick, Georgia, and is moving north-northeast with a travel speed of 14 mph (22 km / h), the National Hurricane Center said. (NHC, for its acronym in English) of the USA in its bulletin of 20.00 local time (00.00 GMT).
A tropical storm watch remains from the mouth of the St. Mary River in Georgia to Little River Inlet in South Carolina and a tropical storm watch is in place north of Little River Inlet to Sandy Hook in New Jersey, plus Pamlico, Delaware Bay, and areas of Long Island, New Haven (Connecticut), Massachusetts, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.
The weather center noted that Elsa will make a turn to the northeast tonight followed by an acceleration on Thursday. According to NHC projections, Elsa, the first hurricane of the season hurricane in the Atlantic, will move over Georgia tonight and South Carolina early Thursday morning, to reach North Carolina at night. The projection cone of its trajectory indicates that “it will move near or over the Atlantic coast on Friday.” The system is expected to experience a “slow weakening” as it moves inland tomorrow.
Elsa lost its hurricane force last night as it advanced parallel to the Florida coast of the Gulf of Mexico, which has been battered by the rains, winds and storm surge since Tuesday. Until now, at least one person died today in a neighborhood of the city of Jacksonville after the thick branch of a tree fell on his vehicle as a result of the strong gusts of wind and rain left by the storm as it passed through North Florida, the office said on social networks of the bailiff of this city. The entire area had been declared an emergency several days ago by State Governor Ron DeSantis, while part of the northwest coast of Florida was under a hurricane warning as of this morning.
The governor reported this morning that there are more than 10,000 workers from the electricity companies to undertake the necessary repairs. At a press conference, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Núñez revealed that there were at least some 26,000 people without electricity across Tampa Bay, on the west coast, where local media have reported downed trees in the storm.
Elsa is expected to leave behind heavy rainfall in parts of southeastern Georgia and South Carolina, which could cause isolated flooding. Its rains will also affect central and eastern North Carolina, southeastern Virginia and New England. Experts warned of the possible tornado formation tonight in north Florida, southeastern Georgia and southeastern the Carolinas.
Fifth tropical storm of 2021 in the Atlantic, Elsa also became the first hurricane this year in the Atlantic basin when it passed through the eastern Caribbean until reaching Cuba on Monday.