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Tropica Storm Elsa producing strong waves at the Malecón in Santo Domingo on Saturday. Photo: Erika Santelices/AFP via Getty Images

Officials in Cuba evacuated 180,000 residents amid concerns about flooding from the deadly Tropical Storm Elsa, as it brushed along the nation's southern region on Monday, per AP.

The latest: Elsa was packing maximum sustained winds of 65 mph 245 miles southeast of Havana about 2a.m. Monday and was expected to weaken while passing over central Cuba later in the day before heading toward the Florida Straits in the evening, according to the National Hurricane Center.

What to expect: The storm is forecast to pass near the Florida Keys early Tuesday and move near or over parts of Florida's west coast of Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • "Slight restrengthening is possible after Elsa moves over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico," the National Hurricane Center said.

State of play: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Saturday declared a state of emergency in 15 counties including Miami-Dade, where crews conducted a controlled demolition to remove the parts of a Surfside, Florida, condo that partially collapsed last month.

The big picture: Elsa strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane on Friday before weakening into a tropical storm Saturday.

  • Two people died as the storm lashed the Dominican Republic Saturday, AP notes. Another death and substantial damage was also reported in St. Lucia.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Rare "high-risk" flash flood alert issued as Nicholas nears Louisiana

A street flooded after Tropical Storm Nicholas moved through Galveston, Texas, on Tuesday. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Southwest Louisiana faces a "high risk" of flash flooding from Tropical Depression Nicholas on Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service warned.

Why it matters: Such "high risk" outlooks are rarely issued anywhere in the U.S. There's also a medium risk of flash-flooding in New Orleans, which is still reeling from Hurricane Ida striking the state last month.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Laurene Powell Jobs' $3.5 billion climate campaign

Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, is investing $3.5 billion in her new climate-action group, the Waverley Street Foundation — all to be spent in 10 years, as a way to show urgency on the issue.

  • Then the group will sunset.

The big picture: The foundation "will focus on initiatives and ideas that will aid underserved communities who are most impacted by climate change," an official tells Axios.

R. Kelly found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking

Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Singer R. Kelly on Monday was found guilty of racketeering and eight counts of violating an anti-sex trafficking law, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Sexual misconduct allegations have surrounded R. Kelly's career, including a child sexual abuse image case in 2008 where he was acquitted. Multiple other victims have come forward to speak about the abuse in recent years.