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Tropical Storm Elsa: What you need to know and a timeline of events

Tropical Storm Elsa brings massive floods to New York City

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Beachgoers walk along Pass-a-Grille the morning after Tropical Storm Elsa moved over the Tampa Bay area in Florida.

Beachgoers walk along the sand on Pass-a-Grille the morning after Tropical Storm Elsa moved over the Tampa Bay area on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 in St. Pete Beach, Fla.

Martha Asencio-Rhine, Tampa Bay Times via Associated Press

Elsa — the fast-moving storm moving through Florida's coast — has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm as it prepares to make landfall. Here are the latest updates and news from Elsa.


Tropical Storm Elsa brings massive floods to New York City

Friday, July 9

Massive thunderstorms hit New York City and surrounding areas on Thursday, which caused police to rescue dozens of people who were stuck along highways because of the rain, The New York Times reports.

  • The storms forced some subway travelers to walk through “waist-deep waters on their way into one Upper Manhattan station,” according to The New York Times.

Flash flooding spewed across the New York region as a result of Tropical Storm Elsa. There were flash flood watches in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut until Friday.

  • Per CBS Boston, Massachusetts was under a tropical storm warning because of Elsa, too. Heavy rainfall continued to hit the area on Friday morning.

Tropical Storm Elsa heads to Northeast after leaving tornadoes in the South

Thursday, July 8

Tropical Storm Elsa is barreling its way toward the Northeastern United States, but not before leaving a trail of destruction behind in the South, CNN reports.

  • Several suspected tornadoes popped up in the storm’s wake in the Southeast, according to CNN. One tornado in Kings Bay, Georgia, left multiple people injured and widespread damage in the area.
  • There have been other tornadoes spotted in Florida and Georgia on Wednesday. Officials expressed worry for more tornadoes overnight because the storm was sitting pat in the South.

Now, Elsa makes her way toward the Eastern Seaboard. The storm has already brought torrential rain to North Carolina and South Carolina, according to The New York Times. The storm might even have a confrontation with New York and Massachusetts.


Tropical Storm Elsa hits Florida

Wednesday, July 7

The National Hurricane Center said Elsa will hit the Florida Gulf Coast by Wednesday morning.

  • The storm had previously been a tropical storm before it was upgraded to a hurricane late Tuesday. Elsa was expected to be the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. this season, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

Has the storm caused damage?

Elsa caused flooding and mudslides in Cuba on Monday. Per The Associated Press, more than 180,000 people were evacuated just ahead of the storm making landfall.

What’s next for Tropical Storm Elsa?

However, forecasters now predict that the eye of the storm will head toward Tampa Bay and then move up the East Coast’s seaboard throughout the rest of the week, NPR reports.

Elsa is expected to hit states such as Florida, Georgia and South Carolina with rains and strong winds, according to CNN. Power lines may be knocked down as well.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said the winds could reach 40 miles per hour as it makes landfall.

  • “We’ve had a lot of rainfall this past month. If you get winds at 40 mph or 50 mph, some of these trees are going to be falling down,” Myers said, according to CNN.
  • “There’s a lot more damage still to be done.”