Jul 6, 2021 - News

Tropical Storm Elsa takes aim at Tampa Bay

Illustration of a road sign with a hurricane icon on it in a storm

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency over the weekend for Tampa Bay and surrounding counties as Tropical Storm Elsa approaches the state.

State of play: Tampa Bay is officially under a tropical storm warning, and we're likely to feel Elsa's worst impact sometime Tuesday night.

  • A big thing to worry about with this system is the rain. The National Hurricane Center warned of the potential of up to 8 inches by tomorrow, which "may result in considerable flash and urban flooding, along with minor to isolated moderate river flooding."
  • Fox 13 meteorologist Paul Dellegatto said it's "not impossible for [the] storm to be a hurricane at some point before landfall."

The big picture: Officials in Cuba evacuated 180,000 residents amid concerns about flooding from the storm, as it brushed along the nation's southern region Monday, per AP.

  • Elsa is also expected to impact the Miami area and the ongoing rescue efforts at the Surfside condo collapse as it heads up the coast.

What to expect: Schools and businesses around Tampa Bay are still making some game-time decisions on their opening status as the storm heads in.

  • TPA hasn't announced any big changes, but we all know that won't last forever. They do have a pretty cool video on how they prepare for tropical weather.
  • The Rays postponed Tuesday's game in favor of a doubleheader Wednesday. There's no indication yet that the Bolts' Stanley Cup Finals game on Wednesday will be impacted.
  • Hillsborough and Pasco schools are closing early Tuesday and closed Wednesday. Pinellas schools are closed both days. Many universities around the area have switched to remote classes this week, including USF and the University of Tampa.

Between the lines: For summer schoolers, we were interested to see if Elsa would mark the end of an era for hurricane days.

  • With virtual learning, inclement weather no longer has to mean no school — but most districts seem to be playing by the old rules.

Stay up to date: The Tampa Bay Times has a handy list of running closures and cancellations that they'll update throughout the day.


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