Tropical Storm Elsa weakening as it moves inland after Florida landfall, heading toward US east coast

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Elsa is still holding on to tropical storm strength Wednesday afternoon but weakening as it moves inland over Florida after its Gulf Coast landfall.

Elsa made landfall late Wednesday morning along the northern Gulf Coast in Dixie County, according to the National Hurricane Center. Landfall came after hours of the storm moving offshore of Tampa Bay and lashing the area with strong winds and heavy rain.

As of 2 p.m. ET Wednesday, Elsa is still a tropical storm with 50 mph maximum sustained wind speeds. The NHC says the storm is expected to continue weakening as it moves inland.

The system is about 105 miles west of Jacksonville and moving north at 14 mph as of 2 p.m. On the forecast track, Elsa will move over Georgia Wednesday night, over South Carolina and North Carolina on Thursday and then near the mid-Atlantic coast on Friday.

The storm is expected to dump 3 to 6 inches of rain across western and northern Florida with some areas seeing isolated amounts of 9 inches. This could lead to a considerable flash and urban flooding, along
with minor to isolated moderate river flooding, the hurricane center said. Coastal Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and southeastern Virginia could experience flash and urban flooding later in the week.

A storm surge warning is in effect for:

  • West coast of Florida from the Suwannee River to the Aucilla River

A tropical storm warning is in effect for:

  • West coast of Florida from the Suwannee River to the Ochlockonee River
  • Mouth of St. Marys River, Georgia to Little River Inlet, South Carolina

A tropical storm watch is in effect for:

  • North of Little River Inlet, South Carolina to Sandy Hook, New Jersey
  • Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds
  • Chesapeake Bay south of North Beach and the tidal Potomac south of Cobb Island
  • Delaware Bay south of Slaughter Beach

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