Tropical Storm Elsa: 1 dead, several injured as hurricane moves from Florida into Georgia
The National Hurricane Center noted that by July 9, as Hurricane Elsa's center shifts along or just off the eastern seaboard, New York and Boston will be at risk
A person has died in Jacksonville, Florida, after winds from Tropical Hurricane Elsa resulted in the fall of a tree on two cars during an afternoon commute on Wednesday, July 7, Captain Eric Prosswimmer with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department confirmed. During a news conference, Wednesday evening, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said: “Now is a time to remember that weather is unpredictable. This is really early in the (hurricane) season. We're just outside of the July 4th holiday, we've had our first storm and, unfortunately, we've had a fatality.”
The weakened yet resilient tropical storm also wreaked havoc near the Georgia-Florida border, which led to multiple people being injuried. Reports said that in Camden County of Georgia, a suspected tornado hit a park for recreational vehicles at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base at around 5:50 pm in the evening. At least 10 people were rushed to hospitals for treatment, base spokesman Scott Bassett said. The storm also seemed to impact some buildings at the base. However, no sensitive military assets or submarines were reportedly affected.
When will Hurricane Elsa make landfall in Florida? Category 1 storm set to hit Nature Coast
Sergio Rodriguez, who lives near the park, said: “There were just RVs flipped over on their sides, pickup trucks flipped over, a couple of trailers had been shifted and a couple of trailers were in the water” of a pond. He also added, “A bunch of folks had lacerations and were just banged around. A majority of folks were in their trailers when it happened.”
According to reports, the anticipation was that Elsa would bring rain anywhere between three to nine inches in western and northern Florida by the end of the storm, but Port Charlotte witnessed up to one foot of water by Wednesday morning. Flooding was also expected in Georgia and South Carolina with the prediction of 3 to 5 inches of rainfall. There was a risk of flash flooding in Valdosta, Georgia, and surrounding Lowndes County as Elsa’s center passed nearby. Lowndes County spokesperson Meghan Barwick said some roads and yards were flooded while Moody Air Force Base saw wind gusts of 41 mph.
However, reports have stated that by Thursday, July 8, Elsa may weaken to a tropical depression when it sets foot in the Carolinas before moving to the mid-Atlantic coast. But the National Hurricane Center (NHC) also noted that it “will likely become a tropical storm again” on Friday, July 9, as the center shifts along or just off the eastern seaboard, putting New York City and Boston at risk.
Hurricane Elsa -- the earliest fifth-named storm on record -- also reportedly impacted electricity after it brought down trees and power lines. As per the website poweroutages.us, about 35,000 homes and businesses on either side of the Georgia-Florida state line were without electricity. It also toughened the rescue and search operations for potential survivors and victims of a Miami-area condominium that collapsed on June 24.
Meanwhile, the US Coast Guard said that 13 people were rescued from a boat that was coming from Cuba with 22 onboard. Nine passengers were reported missing. It has also been said that apart from one fatality in Florida, Elsa was also responsible for three deaths in the Caribbean.