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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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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.

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, resulting in at least three deaths and multiple injuries to passengers and crew on Saturday, per authorities and a company statement.

The big picture: 141 passengers and 16 crew members were estimated to be on the Empire Builder train, traveling from Chicago to Seattle and Portland, when eight of the 10 cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak said early Sunday.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court is set to hear a challenge Wednesday to a vaccine mandate planned for New York City school employees.

Why it matters The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system. But a judge on Friday temporarily blocked the measure, per AP.

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