Tag Archives: Elsa

Tropical Storm Elsa Hits New York City, Rail Services Affected

Fast-moving Tropical Storm Elsa hit the New York City region with heavy rain and high winds Friday, toppling trees and hindering some rail service as it churned its way toward New England.

Maximum sustained winds from the storm peaked near 50 mph (85 kph) as it moved past New York City and across the eastern tip of Long Island, the National Hurricane Center said in an 11 a.m. update.

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There were some snags on commuter rail lines Friday, with slight delays on the Harlem Line north of the city and service suspended on the Long Island Rail Road’s Oyster Bay Branch because of fallen trees.

The storm struck a city already reeling from a deluge Thursday that flooded roads and at least one subway station.

Despite videos showing flooding in some stations in the New York City subway system, “we actually weathered the storm quite well,” interim New York City Transit president Sarah Feinberg said in an email. Feinberg said the subway flooding lasted only a few minutes and caused only minor disruptions.

Up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain was possible in some areas Friday, enough to cause flash flooding. The hurricane center said a tornado or two was possible through early afternoon Friday over parts of Long Island and southeastern New England.

The strongest winds were expected to stay off the coast of New England. But the storm was expected to bring heavy rain – up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) on the Maine coast – before blowing into the Bay of Fundy and Canada late Friday.

Heavy rain had ended in New York City by mid-morning.

The system was already blamed for one death in Florida on Wednesday. And Elsa also previously caused a damaging tornado in Georgia.

A tropical storm warning Friday morning stretched along with parts of the East Coast from New Jersey to Massachusetts. Forecasters said Elsa was moving northeast at 31 mph (50 kph).

Elsa is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday night.

On Wednesday, nine people were injured in coastal Camden County, Georgia, when a tornado struck a campground for active-duty service members and military retirees. Eight of those hurt had to be taken to hospitals, Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base spokesperson Chris Tucker said.

The EF-2 tornado flipped over multiple RVs, throwing one of the overturned vehicles about 200 feet (61 meters) into a lake, the National Weather Service said in a preliminary report early Thursday after its employees surveyed the damage.

Authorities in Jacksonville, Florida, said one person was killed Wednesday when a tree fell and struck two cars. A spokesperson for the Naval Air Force Atlantic Office said Thursday that a sailor assigned to Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron 16 in Jacksonville was killed.

In South Carolina, a Coast Guard Air Station Savannah crew rescued a family that became stranded Wednesday on Otter Island after their boat drifted off the beach. The group was flown to a hospital in good health, a Coast Guard news release said.

The National Weather Service in Morehead City, North Carolina, tweeted that a tornado was spotted near Fairfield on Thursday afternoon.

Scattered power outages were being reported along Elsa’s path Friday morning, with about 24,000 homes and businesses without electricity from Delaware to Massachusetts, according to the website poweroutages.us.

Elsa is the earliest fifth-named storm on record, said Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami.


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LIVE COVERAGE: Tropical Storm Elsa drops heavy rain on North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — Tropical Storm Elsa was about 25 miles southwest of Raleigh at 2 p.m.

According to the 2 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, the storm had gusts of about 60 miles per hour. It was moving northeast at 20 mph.

To get the latest weather alerts sent straight to your phone, download the ABC11 mobile app
Rain from Tropical Storm Elsa arrived Thursday morning as predicted by the ABC11 First Alert Weather Team.

Storms will continue until around 4 p.m.

WATCH LIVE: Radar shows current location of Elsa

Tornado Warnings were issued on and off in central North Carolina on Thursday.

A flash flood watch is in effect until 6 p.m. for the entire region.

Elsa is expected to dump between 1-3 inches of rain (with isolated areas getting as much as 6 inches of rainfall) in central North Carolina and bring wind gusts as strong as 50 miles per hour in spots.

The storm has also toppled trees and knocked out power in some places in North Carolina. Click here for local storm damage updates.

Elsa was expected to pass near the eastern mid-Atlantic states by Thursday night and move near or over the northeastern United States on Friday.

Some re-strengthening was possible Thursday night and Friday while the system moves close to the northeastern United States.

A tropical storm warning was in effect north of Great Egg Inlet, New Jersey to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and for the coast of Long Island from East Rockaway Inlet to the eastern tip along the south shore and from Port Jefferson Harbor eastward on the north shore. A warning was also in effect from New Haven, Connecticut to Merrimack River, Massachusetts including Cape Cod, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.

There was a chance Long Island in New York would see sustained tropical storm-force winds late Thursday night and into Friday morning, the National Weather Service in New York warned.

Timeline

Showers began around 5 a.m. in the Sandhills on Thursday. As the day progresses, the rain spreads north across the ABC11 viewing area with the entire region seeing rain and storms by the afternoon.
Elsa will move through North Carolina fairly quickly. Expect the heaviest rainfall until 4 p.m., with the entire storm moving out of the state by the evening.

Friday will be partly cloudy with highs in the low 90s. The weekend looks mostly sunny with that heat remaining in the lower 90s.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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Wake County’s year-round students head back to classrooms as Elsa moves through North Carolina

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) — Some Wake County students return to the classroom Thursday for the first time in over year, and they must do it as a tropical storm dumps rain throughout the region.

Alex Garcia has spent the better part of the last 16 months in his room at home in Apex. On Thursday, that changes.

Thirty-five year-round schools in Wake County will open their doors Thursday to the largest numbers of students attending school in person since March 2020.

WATCH: Parkside Elementary principal talks about returning to class during a tropical storm

Alex spent the entirety of the fourth grade at Oak Grove Elementary virtually.

Despite the fact that he’s not eligible for a vaccine yet, his mother Nina and their family are confident in sending him back.

The Garcia’s went for a “Meet the Teacher” Day at school Wednesday.

“They were ready for all the kids with safety protocols,” Nina said. “It was a really welcoming environment so I’m really looking forward to him going back — I think it’s time.”

Once all schools are in session by late August, 94% of students will be attending in person.

Wearing a mask indoors is still mandatory, including school buses, but they’re not required during recess. Students will also be eating in the cafeteria this year versus in their classrooms like last year.

“We thought it was much more beneficial to have him be in school and wear the mask,” Nina said. “He needed the social interaction, he needed the teachers. I do wonder how he is going to transition to a regular 9:15 to 3:45 all day in school? I think that’s a struggle with everyone’s family.”

Nina also has a high schooler who just received his second COVID-19 vaccine.

According to Wake County Schools, about 10,000 of the district’s 160,000 students are registered for the Virtual Academy for 2021-22. That compares to a high of 85,500 during the 2020-21 school year

Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Author: Josh Chapin
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Tracking Elsa: New Tropical Storm Warnings Issued For North Carolina, Mid-Atlantic States

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As Tropical Storm Elsa continues north, new tropical storm warnings issued for North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic states.

As of the 11 p.m. advisory, Elsa was about 80 miles northwest of Brunswick, Georgia with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and moving north-northeast at 16 mph.

READ MORE: Debate Starts Over What To Do With Property Where Champlain Towers South Once Stood

A turn toward northeast is expected overnight, followed by a faster northeastward motion by late Thursday.

Elsa 11 p.m. stats for Wednesday, July 7. (CBS4)

On the forecast track, Elsa will move over Georgia Wednesday night, over South Carolina early on Thursday, over North Carolina later on Thursday, pass near the eastern mid-Atlantic states late Thursday and move near or over the northeastern United States on Friday.

Slow weakening is expected through Thursday as Elsa moves over land, and some re-strengthening is possible on Friday while the system moves close to the northeastern United States.

Elsa is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone late Friday.

READ MORE: Proceeds From Support Surfside 5K To Help Victims Of Tragedy

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles, mostly southeast of the center near the coast.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Little River Inlet, South Carolina to Great Egg Inlet, New Jersey.
  • Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds
  • Chesapeake Bay south of North Beach and the tidal Potomac south of Cobb Island
  • Delaware Bay south of Slaughter Beach

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

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  • North of Great Egg Inlet, New Jersey to Sandy Hook, New Jersey
  • Long Island from East Rockaway Inlet to the eastern tip along the south shore and from Port Jefferson Harbor eastward on the north shore
  • New Haven, Connecticut to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts including Cape Cod, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.

Elsa is the earliest fifth-named storm on record.

Author: CBSMiami.com Team
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Millions of people face life-threatening storm surge and heavy winds and rains as Tropical Storm Elsa moves north off the coast toward Florida’s Big Bend area

Elsa is churning off the western coast of Florida with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph as it moves north on a collision course with the Big Bend region, where it is expected to make landfall late Wednesday morning or early in the afternoon.
A Tampa resident covers his windows with hurricane shutters in preparation for Hurricane Elsa Tuesday.
The storm was about 50 miles southwest of Cedar Key Wednesday morning.
Hurricane warnings were in place from the Chassahowitzka River, just to the south of Homosassa, Florida, to the Steinhatchee River.  The hurricane warnings south of the Chassahowitzka River to Egmont Key, Florida, have been replaced by tropical storm warnings.
Bands of heavy rain and strong winds continue to spread inland across southwest and west-central Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center. A tornado watch has been issued for parts of Florida until 8 a.m., according to a tweet from the National Weather Service’s Tampa Bay office.
While the system weakened to a tropical storm early Wednesday after becoming a Category 1 hurricane Tuesday, hurricane warnings remain in place for more than four million people in Florida. More than 12 million people are under a tropical storm warning across three states.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis expanded his state of emergency declaration Tuesday to include a total of 33 counties as local, state and utility resources continue to prepare for the incoming storm.
The Florida National Guard has activated 60 guardsmen to serve at the State Emergency Operations Center and Logistics Readiness Center, according to a release from the Guard. It is prepared to activate additional personnel as needed.
“We are well-equipped with assets including high-wheeled vehicles, helicopters, boats and generators, and are preparing for possible missions to include humanitarian assistance, security operations, search and rescue, aviation, and more,” the guard said in the release.
In Tampa, officials urged residents to stay off the roads as the storm approaches.

Counties and utilities preparing ahead of storm

Both the mayor and emergency coordinator for the city of Tampa posted on social media Tuesday to encourage residents to stay home and be prepared.
“We are prepared here in the city of Tampa but we need you to do your part as well,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in a video posted to Twitter. “Don’t go outside tonight. If you don’t have to, do not go outside. Stay in.”
“We want everybody to be safe in Tampa and we’ll be up all night monitoring the storm so you don’t have to,” she added.
Earlier, Tampa Emergency Coordinator John Antapasis said it was time for residents to get to safety ahead of the expected landfall.
“Now is the time to get back home, get off the streets and stay safe for the rest of tonight,” he said. “You should be making and finalizing your hurricane plans and ensuring that you’re in a safe location while … Elsa makes it’s way through out community.”
Antapasis advised that people who need to be on the road should check the city’s flood map.
Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes also warned people to get ready for the storm during a press conference Tuesday.
“Please finalize your plans and secure your homes and get ready to sort of bunker down and ride out this storm,” Hopes said.
Shelters were opened in at least five counties Tuesday and two counties issued voluntary evacuation orders.
Duke Energy, which serves 1.8 million customers in Florida, according to its website, is preparing for anticipated outages from the storm.
The utility said in a press release Tuesday that it has staged 3,000 utility “crew members, contractors, tree specialists and other personnel” from Pinellas County to north Florida.
Additional line workers and support personnel have also been brought in from the Carolinas, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, according to the release.
The University of Florida in Gainesville has canceled classes for Wednesday in anticipation of the storm, the university said in a statement.

Tropical storm warnings and emergency declarations extended

Ahead of Elsa’s landfall in Florida, tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued in Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia.
The warnings extend along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina.
A tropical storm watch has been issued for the entire coast of North Carolina and up to Chincoteague, Virginia, and for the Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.
On Tuesday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued a State of Emergency in preparation for the impact of Elsa.
“This storm system has the potential to produce destructive impacts to citizens throughout the central, southern, and coastal regions of the State of Georgia and due to the possibility of downed trees, power lines, and debris, Georgia’s network of roads may be rendered impassable in the affected counties, isolating residences and persons from access to essential public services,” Kemp said.
A State of Emergency has been declared in 91 of Georgia’s 159 counties, according to Kemp’s order. The order will expire Wednesday at midnight unless the governor decides to renew it.

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Officials say the demolition could happen as early as tomorrow ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa

That would bring the still-standing portions down safely before Elsa’s high winds — which could hit the area early next week — have a chance to topple them unsafely, officials said.
And it would allow search and rescue crews to continue work on the rubble of the already-collapsed portions without fear of the standing portions coming down on them, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said.
“I think as early as tomorrow (Sunday)” the standing portions could be demolished, Burkett said at a news conference Saturday morning.
Nearly 55 of the 136 units of the Champlain Towers South, in Surfside just north of Miami Beach, pancaked to the ground in the early hours of June 24. The death toll is 24 so far, and 124 people were unaccounted for of Saturday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
The demolition would aim to take the standing portions straight down with charges, Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said.
The demolition timeline has not been finalized, as engineers still were at the site doing due diligence, Levine Cava said.
But officials’ previous thinking about the timeline — that it couldn’t be done before Elsa arrived — changed after they spoke with a demolition expert who indicated it could be done sooner, Levine Cava said.
Levine Cava on Friday signed an order allowing crews to demolish the remaining structure — but at the time said it could be weeks before the demolition could happen.
Search and rescue operations continued Saturday morning at the site, where teams have been scouring concrete rubble up to 16 feet deep.
The search of the current rubble would stop during the demolition, but would resume soon afterward, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at Saturday morning’s news conference.
Late Friday, a county attorney said in a court filing that the remaining portion of the building is not structurally sound and is behaving in ways that indicate it may fall down, a county attorney said in a court filing late Friday.
Search and rescue crews were under “immediate threat” due to the building’s instability and Tropical Storm Elsa, which currently is in Caribbean, said David Murray, the attorney for Miami-Dade County.
Murray’s court filing said a collapse of the remaining structure would “cause the release of hazardous household materials, particulate matter, and will pose fire risk.”
“An uncontrolled collapse of the structure — which is surrounded by residential property, and which is currently being worked and secured by hundreds of fire rescue personnel, police officers, and other government employees — poses significant risk to human life and property,” Murray wrote in the filing.

Fire department confirm member’s child found in the rubble

One of the latest confirmed deaths was that of a 7-year-old girl, the daughter of a member of the Miami Department of Fire and Rescue, officials said Friday.
Members of the Urban Search and Rescue Team on Florida Task Force 2 recovered the girl’s body Thursday night, Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban said in a statement.
The girl’s father did not find her body, officials said, adding that other team members alerted him Thursday night. The girl’s name was not made public at the request of the family.
Officials Friday released the names of three people who died in the collapse. Bonnie Epstein, 56; Claudio Bonnefoy, 85 and Maria Obias-Bonnefoy, 69 were recovered over the past two days.

Criticism of the former Surfside building official

Aamid the increased scrutiny of the condo board and its response to a 2018 report citing “major structural damage,” the actions of the city are also getting fresh attention.
Surfside’s former building official, Rosendo “Ross” Prieto, assured residents of Champlain Towers South that their building was “in very good shape” in November 2018, despite having received a report warning of “major structural damage.”
He worked for the city of Miami Beach as a senior building inspector from about 2007 to 2013. In an April 2012 email, Prieto’s boss expressed frustration with Prieto’s attendance issues.
“[I] am having problems with him for coming late, not calling on time when sick, forgetting to punch in or out, not answering the phone, etc. I suggest to have a meeting with him to establish disciplinary actions,” the email stated, noting that Prieto missed inspections that day.
Prieto had emailed his boss earlier that afternoon saying he had “been fighting a sinus infection for almost a year” and “had a bad reaction to [his] medications.”
He was suspended weeks later for missing work twice within a 12-month period without his supervisor’s authorization on two occasions. A 2013 performance review stated that he was absent an excessive number of days and arrived late 22 times in a one-year period, according to documents, which were first reported by The New York Times.
A 2007 memo about Prieto’s initial hiring in Miami Beach stated that he brought “extensive industry experience and education” to the job. A spokesperson for the city told CNN he left the job in good standing.
Prieto has not responded to CNN’s multiple requests for comment.
Prieto led the building department in Surfside in 2018 when it became the target of mounting complaints by residents and contractors — so much so that the town manager at the time told CNN he placed the office under administrative review.
The city of Doral, Florida, said it began reviewing eight projects Prieto had worked on since arriving in the position in May “out of an abundance of caution.”
“The internal review of the work done by Mr. Prieto is an ongoing process by our licensed experts,” a spokesperson for Doral said Friday in a statement.

Condo association challenges

Max Friedman, a former member of the condo association, told CNN on Friday that board resignations — largely over how to find the $ 15 million that was needed to fix the building’s many structural issues — held up the much-needed repairs.
“I would never quit a board — I think that’s terrible,” said Friedman, who was a member from 2011 until 2016 and lives in Manhattan. When asked about the general sentiment among residents, he said, “there was confusion” and he personally felt the resignations of board members were “inappropriate.”
As the investigation continues into what led to the partial collapse, public scrutiny has turned to the condo board.
“We know that answers will take time as part of a comprehensive investigation and we will continue to work with city, state, local, and federal officials in their rescue efforts, and to understand the causes of this tragedy,” the board said Friday in a statement.
Still, Friedman was careful to note that he didn’t think the board could have possibly known that the building was in immediate danger.
“The township didn’t tell us,” said Friedman, referring to Prieto, who was Surfside’s building official at the time.
Friedman described Champlain Towers South as a tight-knit community of residents from all over the world. He said one of the residents he was close with is among the confirmed dead, and other friends are unaccounted for.
“Every civil engineer from here to the moon is now drawing conclusions,” Friedman said. “Eventually, it’ll be determined what caused this.”

Author: Jason Hanna, Aya Elamroussi and David Shortell, CNN
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Hurricane Elsa races toward Haiti, could hit Florida; storm threatens to unleash landslides

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Hurricane Elsa raced toward Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Saturday, where it threatened to unleash flooding and landslides before taking aim at Cuba and Florida.

The Category 1 storm was located about 110 miles (175 kilometers) east-southeast of Isla Beata, Dominican Republic and was moving west-northwest at 31 mph (50 kph). It had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), with the hurricane expected to become a tropical storm after hitting Cuba, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The long-term forecast track showed it heading toward Florida as a tropical storm by Tuesday morning, but some models would carry it into the Gulf or up the Atlantic Coast.

In Haiti, authorities used social media to alert people about the hurricane and urged them to evacuate if they lived near water or mountain flanks.

“The whole country is threatened by this hurricane,” the Civil Protection Agency said in a statement. “Make every effort to escape before it’s too late.”

WATCH: Big changes made to the hurricane season this year

Haiti is especially vulnerable to floods and landslides because of widespread erosion and deforestation.

People were still buying water and food as the storm approached, with many wary about its immediate and long-term impact in a country struggling with an increase in gang violence and deep political unrest.

“I’m protecting myself the best that I can. Civil protection is not going to do that for me,” said Darlene Jean-Pierre, 35, as she bought six jugs of water along with vegetables and fruit. “I have other worries about the street … I have to worry about gangs fighting. In addition to this, we have a hurricane. I don’t know what kind of catastrophe this is going to cause.”

A hurricane warning was issued for Jamaica and from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince to Punta Palenque in the Dominican Republic. A hurricane watch was in effect for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, and Santiago de Cuba. Some of those provinces have reported a high number of COVID-19 infections, raising concerns that the storm could force large groups of people to seek shelter together.

“Anticipating is the key word,” said Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, adding that vaccination efforts would continue. “Let’s take care of lives and property.”

In the neighboring Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, authorities opened more than 2,400 shelters as forecasters warned of heavy rains starting Saturday before dawn.

Elsa is forecast to brush past the southernmost point of Hispaniola by Saturday afternoon and then take aim at communities in southern Haiti.

The storm already had ripped off roofs, destroyed crops and downed trees and power lines in the eastern Caribbean on Friday, with damage reported in Barbados, St. Lucia and in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which also suffered massive volcanic eruptions that began in April.

At least 43 homes and three police stations were damaged, said St. Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.

“We expect that this number will increase as reports keep coming in,” he said. “We have some damage, but it could have been far worse.”

In St. Lucia, the wind damaged a secondary school, pummeling desks, overturning chairs and sending papers flying after blowing off the roof and siding.

Elsa is the first hurricane of the Atlantic season and the earliest fifth-named storm on record. It is forecast to drop 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain with maximum totals of 15 inches (38 centimeters) across portions of southern Hispaniola and Jamaica.

___

Sanon reported from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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