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TALLAHASSEE, FL – In light of a likely direct hit upon his state by Tropical Storm Elsa, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that he has alerted about 250 of the state’s National Guard troops to remain on standby in case their support is needed in the coming days, reports say.
From the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, DeSantis urged Florida residents to prepare for Elsa’s impact, which could potentially leave them without basic necessities for an undetermined period of time.
“Be prepared to be without power for a few days, having enough food and water for each person in your family, including for your pets,” DeSantis said. “It’s important that Floridians have weather alerts turned on, especially as we see that most impacts will occur overnight with this storm.”
Elsa is currently slated to become hurricane before landfall, which is expected to be in Tampa; Sumter County and parts of Marion County are now under a Tropical Storm Warning, and Parts of Central Florida – including Osceola and Polk counties – are currently under tornado watch, according to reports.
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DeSantis noted that Elsa is anticipated to drench Florida with heavy rainfall, which when combined with the recent weeks of rain the state has already experienced, could result in hazardous conditions.
“The interaction of the wet ground with even more rain, you will see flash flooding conditions in many parts of Florida as this thing moves through,” DeSantis said. “So if you’re in those coastal areas, begin your preparations now.”
Currently, Elsa is approximately 150 miles south of Tampa, and moving north-northwest at about 10 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds at 70 mph. Forecasters anticipate the storm to come close to Florida’s west coast on Tuesday evening into Wednesday before finally making landfall along the north Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday. From there, the storm’s path is anticipated to take it across the southeastern United States through Thursday.