Tropical Storm Elsa Heading Towards Florida
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Tropical Storm Elsa Heading Towards Florida

By IndraStra Global News Team



Early on Monday, Tropical Storm Elsa swept along Cuba’s southern coast, and forecasters said it could make landfall on the island’s central shore by mid-afternoon.

By Sunday, Cuban officials had evacuated 180,000 people as a precaution against the possibility of heavy flooding from a storm that already battered several Caribbean islands, killing at least three people. Most of those evacuated stayed at relatives’ homes, others went to government shelters, and hundreds living in mountainous areas took refuge in caves prepared for emergencies.

Elsa was forecast to cross over Cuba by Monday night and then head for Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in 15 counties, including in Miami-Dade County, where a high-rise condominium building collapsed last week.

Late Sunday, Elsa’s center was about 440 kilometers southeast of Havana and moving northwest at 24 kph. Its maximum sustained winds had strengthened a bit to about 100 kph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Elsa is a little weaker and slower Sunday as it swirls away from Haiti toward Jamaica and Cubbut a tropical storm warning is in effect for the Florida Keys.

National Hurricane Center

Duke Energy Florida, a major utility company of the state is preparing for Elsa and is urging customers to prepare as well. Company meteorologists are tracking the storm and crews are preparing to safely and quickly respond if the storm impacts Duke Energy Florida's service area. 

In advance of the storm, Duke Energy will move power utility crews and resources so they are staged in areas and ready to help restore power as soon as it is safe to do so. In addition, line technicians and workers are checking equipment, supplies, and inventories to ensure adequate materials are available to make repairs and restore power outages.


"Before the storm" Tips


Create (or update) an emergency supply kit to save valuable time later. The kit should include everything an individual or family would need for at least two weeks, especially medicines, water, non-perishable foods, and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm hits. 


Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has relaxed some of its guidance for vaccinated individuals, an emergency kit should still include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, bar or liquid soap, and face coverings aligned with CDC guidance. 


Keep a portable radio or TV or an NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather forecasts and important information from state and local officials. 


Charge cellphones, computers, and other electronic devices in advance of storms to stay connected to important safety and response information. Consider purchasing portable chargers and make sure they are fully charged as well. Maintain a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternative location in case an extended power outage occurs or evacuation is required. 


Pet owners should arrange to stay at evacuation shelters that accept pets; friends' or family members' homes; or pet-friendly hotels.


"After the storm" Tips


Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized, as well as trees, limbs, or anything in contact with lines. If a power line falls across a car that you are in, stay in the car. 


If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground. 


If you need to go to a disaster shelter, follow CDC recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a public disaster shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.


For more tips on how to prepare for storm season, and how Duke Energy can help, please visit duke-energy.com/StormTips.


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