(CMR) Tropical Storm Elsa could become a hurricane again before making landfall in Florida Tuesday night. The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning and watches for parts of the Florida Gulf Coast.
Forecasters said Tropical Storm Elsa was moving north at 9 mph with winds of 70 mph Tuesday afternoon. At 74 mph, Elsa would become a Category 1 hurricane again.
In addition to damaging winds and heavy rains, the Miami-based US National Hurricane Center warned of life-threatening storm surges, flooding, and isolated tornadoes. A hurricane warning has been issued for a long stretch of coastline, from Egmont Key at the mouth of Tampa Bay to the Steinhatchee River in Florida's Big Bend area, AP reported.
The storm that began lashing the Florida Keys early Tuesday has complicated the search for survivors in the collapse of a Miami-area condominium. The death toll has climbed to 32, with over 100 persons still missing.
Forecasters also predicted Elsa could hit coastal Georgia and South Carolina after Florida. Georgia’s coast was under a tropical storm watch, as was much of the South Carolina coast. Tornadoes could strike in the eastern Carolinas and Virginia as Elsa moves north.