On Sunday, approximately 180,000 people
were forced to evacuate their homes in Cuba
as Tropical Storm Elsa
made landfall, and officials in Florida
warned of dangerous storm conditions as the weather
pattern moved toward the United States
Elsa had sustained winds of 65 mph early Monday morning, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
said the storm could strengthen as it approaches the country. Cuban officials began evacuating residents on Sunday, fearing the storm would bring heavy flooding, according to The Associated Press
According to the Associated Press, the storm has killed at least three people — one in St. Lucia and two in the Dominican Republic.
Elsa, according to the National Hurricane Center
, could bring heavy rain
and tropical storm conditions to large parts of Florida starting Monday night, beginning with the Florida Keys.
Tropical Storm Warning in effect for portions of the #FloridaKeys. Tropical Storm Watch
and Storm Surge Watch in effect for portions of the west coast of the Florida peninsula. https://t.co/905zOAYiId
pic.twitter.com/PFvMMRSNTs — National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic
) July 5, 2021 https://t.co/905zOAYiId
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
(R) declared a state of emergency in 15 counties and urged residents to brace themselves for potentially hazardous conditions.
“All Floridians should prepare for the possibility of heavy rain, flooding, and potential power outages,” DeSantis said on Twitter, adding that “now is the time to restock your supplies and review your hurricane plan.”
Officials said the growing threat from Tropical Storm Elsa required them to speed up the project, as they were concerned that the building would fall on its own, hampering ongoing rescue
efforts and putting crews in danger.
Twenty-four people were pronounced dead as a result of the building collapse
, and 121 remain unaccounted for.